In many ways the criminal justice system maintains the illusion of effectiveness because it absolves us of our responsibilities to our communities. The trial of Pussy Riot highlights some of these dynamics, but at the same time, public support for these three individuals highlights another power dynamic centred around fame and popularity. -Jessica MacCormack and Sarah Mangle
Independent filmmaker Angad Singh Bhalla’s Herman’s House had its Canadian premiere at this year’s Hot Docs Festival in Toronto. The film traces the relationship between artist Jackie Sumell and political prisoner Herman Wallace, who has been held in solitary confinement for the past four decades, longer than anyone else in the United States. —Nahed Mansour and Konstantin Kilibarda
The art production and process of The House That Herman Built create platforms for mobilizing, and function as instigative forms of communication that ensure the continued efforts to mobilize against the ever-expanding prison-industrial complex. —Nasrin Himada
The Failure of Sex Work Prohibition Robyn Maynard
Issue Contributors: Pamela Palmater; Liam Skinner; Randy Lee Cutler and Magnolia Paulker; Some Feminists in Your Neighborhood; Folie à Deux; Nasrin Himada; Counter Narrative Society/Mabel Negrete; Robyn Maynard; Kirsty Robertson; Jenna Danchuk; Nahed Mansour and Konstantin Kilibarda; Lauren Cullen; Brenda Goldstein
We are comrades with Hysteria. We believe in truth but not His truth. We present here our reflections on the dilemma of identity and liberation. We suggest that communization theory, a tendency within the tradition of left or anti-state communism, offers us some tools for thinking through the seeming conflict between autonomy and abolition as approaches to our own liberation. Yet we also point to the limits of this theory as it currently exists, and show how we might draw upon feminist, queer and anti-racist theoretical and political traditions to begin the project of developing a more rigorous and complex theoretical framework. —Folie à Deux
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS On the horizon of feminist struggle, what does abolition mean as a radical rhetorical position and as a material goal or praxis? Departing from communization theory’s call to abolish gender (along with class) as a necessary measure of destroying the capitalist class relation, how does the figure of abolition — a word perhaps most often used today to advance the abolition of prisons, and before that, slavery, and enduringly, colonialism — restructure the struggle and praxis of feminisms?