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Justice Forum: Antigone Bound in a Mexico City Women’s Prison

Public Humanities, Justice Forum

March 15, 2024

In November 2018, Andrew Parker visited Santa Martha Acatitla, Mexico's maximum security women's prison as part of a collaboration between the Program in Comparative Literature, Rutgers University, and the Department of Estudios de Género (Gender Studies), UNAM (Mexico's National Autonomous University). The collaboration was funded by the now-completed Mellon project "Critical Theory and the Global South" (Judith Butler and Penelope Deutscher PIs). The highlight of the visit to Santa Martha Acatitla was the screening for the delegation of a short video based on Sophocles' Antigone created by the women themselves to protest their imprisonment. In addition to the video, the women have been collaborating with the UNAM Department of Women's and Gender Studies in several murals documented in Deshacer la carcel (Unmaking the Prison). The event centers around the video as part of a discussion about "arts education" in Mexican and US prisons and on Antigone as a topos that indexes confinement and incarceration cross-culturally.