When Beatrice Codianni was first contacted by artist Charly Swing she felt as though she met a kindred spirit. Although their backgrounds were very different they both shared a passion to educate the public about mass incarceration, particularly the mass incarceration of women. Codianni found her niche as managing editor of Reentry Central, while Swing envisioned using art as the medium to promote dialogue about the need for across-the-board criminal justice reform.
Reentry Central is pleased to help Charly Swing reach out to incarcerated and previously incarcerated women who would like to offer snippets of their lives prior to, during, or after their incarceration. We encourage our subscribers to participate in this endeavor by sharing the following press release with your clients and colleagues.
8 August 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Charly Swing
Cell Phone: 541/556-2522
Women Inside and Out; Making the Invisible Visible is the artistic vision of Charly Swing, an artist who activates change through art. Her goal is to create and curate a body of work that will travel to universities and museums to act as a catalyst for interdepartmental conversation and discourse.
During the summer of 2014 Charly attempted to connect with formerly incarcerated women through nonprofit organizations and found their doors were only cracked open. Administrators liked the idea and wanted to help, but ultimately found they had neither sufficient funds nor staff to support outside efforts.
Deciding to go directly to the source, Charly Swing found enthusiastic support when she turned to the internet and contacted Beatrice Codianni, editor of Reentry Central. A long time activist who was previously incarcerated, Beatrice now dedicates her energy and writing skills to distribute news and information on the subject of reentry and related criminal justice issues. Near and dear to her heart is the issue of women being separated from their children, a situation that burdens many incarcerated mothers and their families.
Beatrice served time in Danbury Prison, the location of the now infamous Netflix comedy/drama Orange is the New Black. Ms Codianni was incarcerated with Piper Kerman and she appreciated the retelling of Ms Kerman’s prison experience in print. The comic and highly sexualized content of the OITNB series, however, is hard for Beatrice and many incarcerated women to accept because it gives the impression that prison is fun and inviting. In response, Ms Codianni and a group of women dedicated to ending mass incarceration organized Real Women Real Voices.
Charly Swing is utilizing her experience as an artist who worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon. With the aid of Beatrice Codianni and Real Women Real Voices, Charly Swing invites incarcerated and previously incarcerated women to contribute hand written poems, prose, or voice recordings of their experience to inspire and be incorporated into art. Charly Swing also encourages women artists of all media to contact her and learn how their work may be curated into exhibits and inspire conversation.
Art inspires reflection and understanding. Through art Charly Swing encourages people to pause, observe and contemplate our system of mass incarceration and our treatment toward women. Currently or previously incarcerated women who would like to share their stories and inspire art intended to activate change, and currently or previously incarcerated women artists interested in participating are invited to contact Charly Swing at Women.Inside.And.Out@Gmail.com.