In November 2016, we presented a collaborative project with artist duo Diaz Lewis about the effects of the U.S. government’s system of immigrant detention. The piece was presented for Jenny Polak’s Speakers' Podium for Citizens and Non-Citizens during its residence at the University of Chicago's Arts & Public Life initiative.
Weaving the Languages of Legislation and Anecdote
In much of our work, we use found and existing texts as raw material for hybrid poetic texts. In this case, elements of the “bed mandate” written into the Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and Customs Enforcement appropriations bills are interwoven with excerpts from detainee interviews and writing by immigration advocates. “Bed Count” addresses the human outcomes, the legislative rhetoric, the corporate profiteering, and the determination of those caught in a system that criminalizes the undocumented.