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.
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.