Can you be an activist and an artist?
After listening to this episode, the answer is a resounding YES! Elizabeth talks about why she was incarcerated and how that experience set her on a path to help others who are disadvantaged and how it fuels her work as an artist. We can all take a page from her life and find something that motivates our artistic practice and help those who need our help, which are often those whom we don’t interact with.
From Inmate to Artist
In her 20’s she barely survived a very violent relationship, he assaulted her with a wooden dowel and you could see her skull when it happened. The Drs gave her opioids, and when she refused they threatened her with child protective services because she was pregnant and refusing medical advice. She Was told she was on too small a dose to get addicted. Eventually, she went to the DV shelter and was turned away, they said her injury was too severe and it put the other women in danger. She survived because drug dealers helped her – or took advantage, depending on how you look. She eventually went to federal prison for a non-violent drug charge. She endured and witnessed so much institutional abuse, corruption, systemic racism, and cruelty; sometimes she still wakes up screaming. But! She’s turned it all around, launched an environmentally friendly feminine brand that’s being sold in stores, and also comes in plus sizes. She has gotten bills put on the table and passed for the good of the people- not corporations and institutions. She is letting the world know what America’s “land of the free” is doing to its incarcerated population which is the highest rate in the world. She is also exposing other systemic abuse and corruption that affects Americans every day. She is sharing her healing journey and what she has learned about her own trauma and mental health.
Links to Elizabeth’s work
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