Artist Kristin Li – based in Toronto and Montreal – presents a new work, Prison Dispatches, at Evergreen Brick Works as part of Evergreen’s call for public art projects addressing issues of equity in public space.
For Prison Dispatches, Li has created a thematic map, drawing attention to prison locations and detainment centres in Ontario. The vinyl map is accompanied by an interactive webpage, which features detailed accounts from prisons across the province.
Since March 2020 (after the onset of the COVID-19) Li has been gathering news articles and documenting stories of conditions and events in Ontario prisons, and she will continue adding to the website until March 2021. In the coming months, Li will populate a timeline of news stories and personal reports from prison institutions across Ontario since the beginning of the pandemic.
With frequent updates, the website acts as a living document, presenting prisons as places where people’s lives are happening simultaneously to life on the outside—as opposed to a distant margin beyond which incarcerated people in Ontario simply disappear from view.