Barring Freedom highlights the roles of art, music, visual culture and the radical imaginary in engaging issues of prisons, policing, and abolition in the United States. Organized by UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences, Barring Freedom features a contemporary art exhibition at San José Museum of Art and a participatory public art project, Solitary Garden. Additionally, the project includes related online artist talks and discussions on the theme of Visualizing Abolition and original songs and videos curated for Music for Abolition. This website documents and archives the exhibition, public art project, events, and music videos, while also providing digital tools and study guides to further explore issues of art and justice.
Four of the main themes present in Barring Freedom are explored through in-depth study guides below. Begin with the Introduction, and then explore the readings, discussion questions, and artist interviews thematically grouped below.