The University of Washington has invested over 7 million dollars into Correctional Industries, a system that exploits incarcerated workers for their labor. Since 2011, all dorm furniture used on campus has been built by prison labor. Students have been protesting about UW’s involvement with incarcerated labor since 2015. And recently, this year, ASUW Senate wrote up a bill that demands UW to fully divest from Correctional Industries and others, publicly apologize, amend their supplier code of conduct, and run educational efforts to inform students if and when they are investing in correctional labor.
As former residents ourselves, we were unaware of any of these issues while living on campus and wished that we did. Thus the final point of the bill gave our group the opportunity to reimagine space where we can inform and educate students, especially on campus, to become more aware of correctional labor UW has invested in.
Our concept is to deconstruct the ASUW Senate Divestment Bill to be more digestible for students and faculty on campus with a centerpiece installation located on Denny Field, a social space that can be overlooked by all North Campus dorms. Made of PVC pipes and tarp, we wanted to use these materials to reminisce the visual language of the monolines already expressed on the field. When looking from an aerial view, the installations would blend within the dorm plan. The installation frames themselves are inspired by the very furniture pieces or frameworks in the current dorms today.
Upon entering the installation, students and faculty will receive a pamphlet guiding them to understand the six sections included in the divestment bill. At the end of the walkthrough experience, we provide resources and accessible ways audience members could get involved.
We would also like to encourage YOU to get involved. One way right now is scanning the QR code below or clicking this link to sign the petition created by UW United Students Against Sweatshops: https://tinyurl.com/divestfromprisonlabor
FULL PROJECT LINK