Practical Abolition Short Screens in Malcolm X Park

A still shot of an animated rendition of a city block

On a recent Friday night in West Philly, around 100 people gathered on blankets in Malcolm X Park to watch a series of short films about abolition. Beyond Walls is a short film collection curated by Working Films that aims to inspire people to imagine a world without police and prisons. Our contribution was an animated short that highlights the need to mobilize emergency resources for communities hardest hit by gun violence instead of increasing our reliance on police.

The film, Resources for Communities Not Cops, is part of a series of shorts that Amistad Law Project produced in collaboration with artist Erik Ruin. Through four animated videos, we explored ideas for programs that could reduce reliance on police and prisons––and reduce street violence. We hope these films will expand people’s imagination for tangible interventions that could improve the lives of people in our communities.

Before the screening, Vernon Jordan III of Cinespeak facilitated a panel discussion with Amistad’s Executive Director, Kris Henderson, MOVE Legacy Director, Mike Africa Jr., and West Philly-based artist, Erik Ruin. They talked about the movements that are giving them hope right now, how the struggle for liberation requires a long view, and the power of art to create empathy and build solidarity.

This event was hosted by Cinespeak, Making Worlds Books, and Amistad Law Project, but Working Films will be screening Beyond Walls in cities across the country. Check out their site for more information about each of the films and to catch a screening near you.


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