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Revolution Books’ virtual author events
co-sponsored by Revolution Books in NYC and in Berkeley, CA:

Marking Time:
Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Thursday, May 7, 7:00 pm EDT

An online presentation and conversation with author
Nicole R. Fleetwood
and artists Russell Craig and James “Yaya” Hough

Register here now to get access to online event on Thursday, May 7 at 7:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm PDT).


Revolution Books hosts an online conversation with art scholar Nicole R. Fleetwood and formerly incarcerated artists Russell Craig and James "Yaya" Hough.

Marking Time is a powerful document of the inner lives and creative visions of men and women rendered invisible by America’s prison system.

More than two million people are currently behind bars in the United States. Incarceration not only separates the imprisoned from their families and communities; it also exposes them to shocking levels of deprivation and abuse and subjects them to the arbitrary cruelties of the criminal justice system. Yet, as Fleetwood reveals, America’s prisons are filled with art.

Based on interviews with currently and formerly incarcerated artists, prison visits, and the author’s own family experiences with the penal system, Marking Time shows how the imprisoned turn ordinary objects into elaborate works of art. Working with meager supplies and in the harshest conditions—including solitary confinement—these artists find ways to resist the brutality and depravity that prisons engender.

* * *

Nicole R. Fleetwood is a critic, curator, and professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She last appeared at Revolution Books in 2018 with a special issue of Aperture magazine that she edited -- "Prison Nation." She is also the author of On Racial Icons: Blackness and the Public Imagination and Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness.

Two of the artists featured in her book will be joining Nicole in the online conversation with Revolution Books:

Russell Craig is a self-taught painter whose work combines portraiture with social and political themes. He survived nearly a decade of incarceration after growing up in the foster care system. His work has been shown at the Philadelphia African American Museum and group shows, and has been written about in The Washington Post, Artsy, and The New York Times.

James "Yaya" Hough is a contemporary artist based in Pittsburgh, PA. During his 27 years in prison, he made hundreds of works of art, mentored other incarcerated artists, and collaborated on large-scale public works with Mural Arts Philadelphia. On the significance of making art in prison: "I love to create art for myself. I also knew I was developing my skills as an artist to make a living. Then, I had a way to visually record my life & respond to the stressful prison environment creatively. In addition, I was applying my art skills to prison-based organizations engaged in struggle/positive change.”

* * *

"Marking Time is a tremendous achievement that provides one of the most important discussions of prisons to date. Nicole Fleetwood illuminates the world of incarcerated artists and brings readers into their lives with powerful analysis and care...” ― Elizabeth Hinton, author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America.

Revolution Books NYC online author events are co-sponsored by Revolution Books in Berkeley, CA.

Revolution Books — a bookstore about the world, for a radically different world.

Register here to get access to online event on Thursday, May 7 at 7:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm PDT).

Marking Time is available at Revolution Books new online store here. Go here for a full list of 6000+ titles from our curated collection.

Revolution Books' virtual author programs are broadcast via Facebook (You don't need FB to watch). The programs are also archived for viewing later here.

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Nicole R. Fleetwood

Artist Russell Craig in front of his Self Portrait.

James “Yaya” Hough in front of a mural that he helped create in Philadelphia.




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