Call for Art and Article Submissions: A Generation of Support Through the Bars – the 20th edition of the Certain Days calendar|
The Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar collective will be releasing our 20th calendar this coming autumn. The 2021 theme is “A Generation of Support Through the Bars,” reflecting on the roles of political prisoners in social justice movements, historically, currently, and as we look to the future.
We are looking for 12 pieces of art and 12 short essays to feature in the calendar, which hangs in more than 6,000 homes, workplaces, prison cells, and community spaces around the world. We encourage contributors to submit both new and existing work. We especially seek submissions from people in prison, so please forward to any prison-based artists and writers.
Deadline: Sunday, May 17, 2020
When the first Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar went to print over two decades ago, the list of political prisoners and prisoners of war numbered over 100. That number has diminished considerably in the last 20 years, sometimes as a result of successful campaigns and strong outside support, but all too often due to attrition. Medical neglect combined with years of confinement has meant that too many political prisoners have joined the ancestors before we were able to free them.
The Certain Days project was intergenerational when it began: the inside members and almost all of the prisoners featured were involved in the freedom struggles of the 1960s and 70s. The outside collective were in our twenties when the project began, eager to learn from our elders and to provide concrete solidarity across prison walls. Now, 20 years later, the world has changed but the need for solidarity remains as strong as ever. As new movements have risen up to confront forces of repression, we have seen an increase in political prisoners from Indigenous struggles and Earth and Animal liberation movements, to anarchists, anti-fascists, Grand Jury resistors and hacktivists.
While we have covered many themes connecting political prisoner solidarity work over the last two decades, for this 20th anniversary issue we wanted to focus our attention on the core reason for the calendar’s existence: the ongoing place of political prisoners in social justice and revolutionary movements.
*Topics may include, but are not limited to the following:
- The role of longtime political prisoners in ongoing struggles for liberation, whether as inspiration, mentors, and/or as active participants.
- How do we provide meaningful support to prisoners? How has this role changed over time, and what does it mean to support activists who are now at risk for involvement in ongoing movements?
- The relationship between political prisoner solidarity and the broader movement for prison abolition.
- Our understanding of political prisoners/prisoners of war, and how this has evolved over time.
- How can we bring the voices of political prisoners into our everyday lives and organizing efforts?
- Political prisoners are often involved in raising the consciousness of fellow prisoners, as well as prison organizing and legal support. How has this role changed in the face of escalating state repression?
• 500 words max. If you submit a longer piece, we will have to edit for length.
• Poetry is also welcome but needs to be significantly shorter than 500 words to accommodate layout.
• Please include a suggested title.
Due to time and space limitations, submissions may be lightly edited for clarity, with no change to the original intent.
1. The calendar is 11” tall by 8.5” wide, so art with a ‘portrait’ orientation is preferred. Some pieces may be printed with a border, so it need not fit those dimensions exactly.
2. We are interested in a diversity of media (paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, computer-designed graphics, collage, etc).
3. The calendar is printed in colour and we prefer colour images.
1. Send your submissions by Sunday, May 17, 2020 to info @ certaindays.org.
2. ARTISTS: You can send a low-res file as a submission, but if your piece is chosen, we will need a high-res version of it for print (600 dpi).
3. You may send as many submissions as you like. Chosen artists and authors will receive a free copy of the calendar and promotional postcards. Because the calendar is a fundraiser, we cannot offer money to contributors.
Prisoner submissions are due Sunday, June 7, 2020 and can be mailed to:
Certain Days c/o Burning Books
420 Connecticut Street
Buffalo, NY 14213
Certain Days c/o QPIRG Concordia
1455 de Maisonneuve Ouest
Montreal, QC H3G 1M8
ABOUT THE CALENDAR
The Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal, Hamilton, New York, and Baltimore, with two political prisoners being held in maximum-security prisons: David Gilbert in New York and Xinachtli (s/n Alvaro Luna Hernandez) in Texas. We were happy to welcome founding members Herman Bell and Robert Seth Hayes (Rest in Power) home from prison in 2018, after serving over forty years each. All of the current members of the outside collective are grounded in day-to-day organizing work other than the calendar, on issues ranging from migrant justice to community media to prisoner solidarity. We work from an anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, feminist, queer- and trans-liberationist position.