Handmade paper, Letterpress, Screenprint
In an edition of 20, The Reentry Box Set consists of 10 letterpressed and screenprinted pages, all handmade by formerly incarcerated women and men from the People’s Paper Co-op’s Art and Advocacy Fellowship. Criminal records from legal clinics and public workshops were torn, pulped, and transformed into new sheets of handmade paper that acted as blank slates. Booklyn has been granted exclusive rights to distribute the Reentry Portfolio, whose proceeds will fundraise $40,000 in scholarships for the next 20 Reentry Think Tank Fellowship program.
Collections that have supported other social justice or papermaking collaboratives such as Combat Paper and the Peace Paper Project will be impressed with the conceptual and material integrity of the Reentry Portfolio.
The Reentry Box Set connects formerly incarcerated men and women with artists and advocates to transform the stereotypes, social services, and platforms that impact our lives and communities. As part of their ongoing work, Reentry Think Tank Fellows spent two years interviewing over 1200 Philadelphians with criminal records about their lives, dreams, and demands for a more just world. Each interview began with the question: “If you were in power, what would you do to keep people free?”
These responses have been edited together to create the city’s first Reentry Bill of Rights: A Blueprint for Keeping Us Free. The text in this poster series includes the Preamble to the Bill of Rights which was co-written by Reentry Think Tank Fellows. As a group poem and declaration, it has been read in Philadelphia’s city hall, detention centers, museums, legal clinics, and community spaces across the city. The Reentry Bill of Rights poster series will be distributed, gifted, and exhibited in city offices and service spaces across Philadelphia; sharing the work in these locations ensures that powerful community voices are heard and present in the spaces that need to experience them most.
The Reentry Think Tank has only been made possible through the time, energy and love of so many people, and through the incredibly generous support of the following organizations: The Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, A Blade of Grass Foundation, Bread and Roses Community Fund, Leeway Foundation, Open Society Foundation, and the Village of Arts and Humanities.
The Paper: This edition was printed on French Paper. A deluxe companion edition of 20 was printed on handmade paper by formerly incarcerated women in the People’s Paper Co-op’s Art and Advocacy Fellowship. Criminal records from legal clinics and public workshops were torn, pulped, and transformed into new sheets of handmade paper that act as blank slates. The People’s Paper Co-op, an ongoing initiative of the Village of Arts & Humanities, in North Philadelphia.
The Font: The text for the Reentry Bill of Rights was lettered by Reentry Think Tank Fellow Jym Baker. Articles for the Bill of Rights were lettered by Courtney Bowles. Photographs in the poster series were taken by Mark Strandquist in collaboration with Jym Baker, Mary Baxter, Omar Bey, David Garvin, Anthony Hirschbuhl, Sheila Michael, Tarrence Swartz, and Angelia Smithwick.
The printers: This project was produced as part of the Antenna’s Paper Machine artist in residence program. It was printed in February 2019 by Courtney Bowles, Mark Strandquist, and Jessica Peterson.