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December 16: Screening Documentary A Letter to the City: "jail is not my home"

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

A Letter to the City: "jail is not my home", video still, 2022


There will be an additional screening of the feature length documentary A Letter to the City: "jail is not my home", at the Circles & Ciphers home space!

Screening + live performances + food December 16, 5:30-8:30 screening starts at 6 pm. 1545 West Morse Ave, Chicago, 60626


A Letter to the City: "jail is not my home", 2022 Duration 00:89:33 min This collaborative documentary project by artist Kirsten Leenaars and restorative justice organization Circles & Ciphers started with an open call for letters from individuals who were incarcerated in Cook County Jail, Chicago. They received 46 letters, and each letter writer was compensated for their creative efforts. They then collaborated closely with 15 selected letter writers to create this documentary video piece. The documentary focuses on conversations with the young letter writers and their experiences in jail and with the criminal justice system. The documentary further includes excerpts from the letters displayed on walls, buildings, and street surfaces throughout different neighborhoods in Chicago identified by the letter writers as their home communities; interviews with community members responding to the letters’ text; recorded audio of the letter writers reading their own letters over the phone while calling from Cook County Jail; and a performance by Circles & Ciphers youth of freestyle ‘serenades’ in front of the jail. All these moments are documented and edited together as a letter to the city, amplifying and echoing the deeply personal stories and experiences of young people that are often marginalized in this society.


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