Critical Resistance South 1 & 2 (Organizing and Conference)

A part of the Corrections Documentary Project

We see it as a movement, but people need to see it as saving our lives…it all comes back to saving our communities…
— Althea Francois, CR South Organizer

Two videos on Critical Resistance’s Southern Conference, Organizing Critical Resistance South, and The Critical Resistance South Conference document the lead up to this important conference and the conference itself.

Organizing… is an 18 minute piece that follows the 2–year organizing process leading up to the conference, which was used to open the conference at its opening night plenary.

Dealing with fundamental questions organizing, its importance and its function, the video follows the conference’s lead organizers to events and community forums in 11 Southern states. What it builds is an expectation of a different kind of conference than one tends to expect — one establishing the space and respect needed to form a new discourse around prisons and criminalization than what the state offers; where ‘organizing’ becomes not only rallying around campaigns but also working toward real power for the people and communities that prisons impact most.

The Conference… is a document of the event itself, in which thousands of people faced with the problems of mass incarceration throughout the Southern U.S. came together to connect their often isolated struggles and begin a conversation.

In every city and every state, there are people organizing to fight the disappearance of community members and families into prisons, against torture and abuse, to keep families together, to fight state violence, and to try to find real solutions to problems of harm and violence in communities that do not bring more violence to bare in the process. This video documents many such people coming together to form their experiences and struggles into a more coherent, connected and informed discourse.

Based around the opening night and cultural events, it takes viewers throughout various workshops and discussions, and to the weekend’s final event, a Mardi Gras style parade throughout New Orleans’ streets.

Special thanks to: Melissa Burch, Althea Francois, Dan Horowitz de Garcia, Curtis Muhammad, Critical Resistance, The Women’s Project of Arkansas

2003 / 18 Minutes
2004 / 29 minutes


links: Critical Resistance