Artists Space

Auditing Black Pain: The Affective Economy of the Prison Industrial Complex

Naomi Murakawa

March 11, 2016, 7pm

In conjunction with Cameron Rowland's exhibition 91020000, Artists Space presents a talk by Naomi Murakawa, Associate Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. Murakawa is the author of The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America.

A small ruler held up to a man
Photograph released by St. Louis County prosecuting attorney of police officer Darren Wilson after he fatally shot Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. [A small ruler held up to a man's face, measuring a bruise on his cheek.]

Despite the routine racial violence of police, courts, and prisons, state violence against black bodies is condemned only in terms of its traceability to white minds—white fear, white implicit bias, white lack of empathy. Translating black pain into white affective failure invites reforms to 'humanize' the criminal justice system with more community policing, more empathy training, more diverse personnel. These reforms reconsolidate carceral power, institutionalizing white privilege that masquerades as white compassion.
– Naomi Murakawa

91020000 is supported by the Friends of Artists Space and the Cameron Rowland Exhibition Supporters Circle:

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; Pedro Barbosa & Patricia Moraes; ESSEX STREET, New York

Shane Akeroyd; Paul Bernstein & Dr. Alfred P. Gillio; Pedro Barbosa & Patricia Moraes; James Cahn & Jeremy Collatz; Eleanor Cayre; Lonti Ebers; Joan Jonas; Eleanor Heyman Propp; David Joselit & Steve Incontro; Anne Simone Kleinman & Thomas Wong; Glenn Ligon; Barbara & Howard Morse; R. H. Quaytman; Rob Teeters & Bruce Sherman