This is the first part of a four part experimental animated documentary I am working on about criminalization in Canada. Having worked for the past five years on art projects with marginalized and criminalized individuals, I am interested in sharing some of their stories and insights. Many women find creative ways to survive, their stories illuminate the strength and courage these women show as well as the oppressive conditions that define them.
“Women are the fastest growing prison population world wide and this is not accidental. In Canada, we recognize that the now globalized destruction of social safety nets — from social and health services to economic and education standards, and availability is resulting in the increased abandonment of the most vulnerable, marginalized and oppressed.” Kim Pate
The law is intended to protect society from harm and create social order. Used as a method for controlling behavior and maintaining social norms, it is often produced so as to appease the masses with concepts of safety and security. In most western countries prison populations, as compared to outside populations, reflect disproportionate representation of racially discriminated groups. This extension of systematic racism is entrenched in the legal systems and purpose of prisons.