Incarceration in the United States
Phoenix Players Theatre Group at Auburn (NY) Prison and the documentary, Being Human, that follows the five original members.
“Behind The Bars: A Week Dedicated to Music In, About, and From Prisons” is Soundfly’s collection of new and existing content that explores the role of music in prison reform initiatives from a number of contemporary and historical angles.
In May 2010, Zoe Boekbinder paid their first visit to New Folsom Prison, a maximum-security penitentiary outside Sacramento, California. They volunteered in New Folsom for four years, until the end of 2014, playing concerts and teaching workshops in songwriting.
Over the years, a lot of poems, raps and songs were created and shared by the incarcerated men who participated in the workshops. Some of the writers asked Zoe to collaborate with them and Zoe found themself contributing a melodic hook to a rap or setting some words to music. One of the participants, Ken Blackburn, was already an accomplished songwriter and offered up to the group finished songs to sing. A body of work developed that was as diverse as the people who contributed to it. The songs — overflowing with pain and regret, longing, perseverance and hope — form a collective snapshot of the hidden face of America: the two million people living inside its prison systems.