Well contestedsites

Well Contested Sites

Well Contested Sites is a 13- minute dance/theater film that explores the issue of mass incarceration and the complexity of experience faced by those who are incarcerated in jails/prisons. The film is a collaboration between a group of men who were previously incarcerated, Bay Area performing artists, choreographer Amie Dowling and filmmaker Austin Forbord. The piece was created and filmed on Alcatraz Island.

Rehearsal for Alcatraz production of “Well Contested Sites”

The title stems from the idea that a prisoner’s body is a ‘contested site'; its presence or absence, its power and its vulnerability are all intensely realized in jails and prisons–institutions that emphasize control, segregation, solitude and physical containment.

Several of the artists/performers in the film have been incarcerated; by drawing on these men’s physical memories Well Contested Sites connects audiences to the impact of incarceration. Using a metaphorical, movement-based aesthetic, the film explores the effect of incarceration on individuals and suggests that the imagination can thrive even while the body is behind bars.

You can watch the film here.

All screenings are an hour long and FREE.

Teachers and Facilitators: Please download the Well Contested Sites Facilitation Guide here.

Past Screenings:

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

San Francisco Public Library, Koret Auditorium


USF, Studio Theater


Alcatraz Island

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Stanford University

Panelists include restorative justice practitioners, men who have been incarcerated, and directors/producers Amie Dowling and Austin Forbord.

Check out the Well Contested Sites facebook page!