Call for Art and Articles – Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar 2022:
Creating a New World in the Shell of the Old – the 21st edition of the Certain Days calendar
The Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar collective (certaindays.org) will be releasing our 21st calendar this coming autumn. The 2022 theme is “Creating a New World in the Shell of the Old,” looking at collective approaches at creating a more inclusive and fulfilling world through mutual effort.
We are looking for 12 pieces of art and 12 short essays to feature in the calendar, which hangs in more than 6,000 homes, workplaces, prison cells, and community spaces around the world. We encourage contributors to submit both new and existing work. We especially seek submissions from people in prison or jail, so please forward to any prison-based artists and writers.
Deadline: June 14, 2021
The Certain Days project has been intergenerational from the beginning. The inside members and many of the prisoners featured were involved in the freedom struggles of the 1960s and 70s. Most of us in the outside collective were in our twenties when the project began, eager to learn from our elders and to provide concrete solidarity across prison walls. Now, more than two decades later, the world has changed but the need for that connection and support remains as strong as ever. As new movements have risen up to confront forces of repression, we have seen an increase in political prisoners from Indigenous struggles and Earth and Animal liberation movements, to anarchists, anti-fascists, Grand Jury resistors, and hacktivists.
With COVID-19 and a growing and dangerous fascism vying to destroy the world as we know it, this year we were inspired to focus our attention on mutual aid to build new and stronger communities, and collective efforts to assist and free those freedom fighters locked behind the bars.
*Topics may include, but are not limited to the following:
- From defense campaigns to prison book programs community bail funds to phone lines, mutual aid has been at the heart of prison support throughout the history of our movements. In what ways has mutual aid benefitted us? In what ways have we failed to engage it effectively?
- What does mutual aid look like behind the bars? For those incarcerated, power dynamics and violent hierarchies are the norm, and actively confronting them risks very real and harmful repercussions. However, mutual aid has in fact blossomed in such conditions—peer support during pandemics; inside-outside projects like Victory Gardens and Certain Days. What are other ways in which mutual aid is utilized by those locked away?
- In what ways can mutual aid help us in creating transformative and healing spaces for those returning from prison? What about for those about to go to prison for the first time?
- What is the future of mutual aid in the ongoing abolitionist struggle against the prison industrial complex?
• 400-500 words max. If you submit a longer piece, we will have to edit for length.
• Poetry is also welcome but needs to be significantly shorter than 400 words to accommodate layout.
• Please include a suggested title.
Due to time and space limitations, submissions may be lightly edited for clarity, with no change to the original intent.
1. The calendar is 11” tall by 8.5” wide, so art with a ‘portrait’ orientation is preferred. Some pieces may be printed with a border, so it need not fit those dimensions exactly.
2. We are interested in a diversity of media (paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, computer-designed graphics, collage, etc).
3. The calendar is printed in colour and we prefer colour images.
1. Send your submissions by June 14, 2021 to info @ certaindays.org.
2. ARTISTS: You can send a low-res file as a submission, but if your piece is chosen, we will need a high-res version of it for print (600 dpi).
3. You may send as many submissions as you like. Chosen artists and authors will receive a free copy of the calendar and promotional postcards. Because the calendar is a fundraiser, we cannot offer money to contributors.
Prisoner submissions are due July 1, 2021 and can be mailed to:
Certain Days c/o Burning Books
420 Connecticut Street
Buffalo, NY 14213
Certain Days c/o QPIRG Concordia
1455 de Maisonneuve Ouest
Montreal, QC H3G 1M8
ABOUT THE CALENDAR
The Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal, Hamilton, New York, and Baltimore, with two political prisoners being held in maximum-security prisons: David Gilbert in New York and Xinachtli (s/n Alvaro Luna Hernandez) in Texas. We were happy to welcome founding members Herman Bell and Robert Seth Hayes (Rest in Power) home from prison in 2018, after serving over forty years each. All of the current members of the outside collective are grounded in day-to-day organizing work other than the calendar, on issues ranging from migrant justice to community media to prisoner solidarity. We work from an anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, feminist, queer- and trans-liberationist position. All proceeds from the calendar go to abolitionist organizations working for a better world.
Certain Days 2021 Calendar
In the U.S and Canada, order from Burning Books. (Use the discount code “BULK” to get 10 or more calendars for $10 each)
You can also order from our friends at AK Press .
International orders via Burning Books.
Certain Days 2021: A Generation of Support Through the Bars
The Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal, Hamilton, New York and Baltimore, with two political prisoners being held in maximum-security prisons: David Gilbert in New York and Xinachtli (s/n Alvaro Luna Hernandez) in Texas. Founding members Herman Bell and Robert Seth Hayes were happily welcomed home from prison in 2018.
Your group can buy 10 or more for the rate of $10 each and sell them for $15, keeping the difference for your organization. Many campaigns, infoshops and projects do this as a way of raising funds and spreading awareness about political prisoners.
This year’s theme is “A Generation of Support Through the Bars” and features art and writings by Grae Rosa, Herman Bell, Veronza Bowers, David Campbell, Saima Desai, Damon Locks, Tom Manning, Monica Trinidad, Nidal el-Khairy, David Gilbert, Gord Hill (aka Zig Zag), Eric King, Jaan Laaman, Paul Lacombe, Joy Powell, Richard Rivera, Laura Whitehorn, Linda Evans and Susan Rosenberg, Xinachtli and more!
While COVID-19 makes its way around the world, causing massive shut downs, prison officials make measly attempts at controlling the spread to the most vulnerable inside. Let’s raise the voices of prisoners, now more than ever.
Proceeds from Certain Days 2020 were divided amongst Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Palestine), Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP), Civil Liberties Defense Center and the Rosenburg Fund for Children. This year’s proceeds will go to some of the same grassroots groups and more.
Robert Seth Hayes, October 15, 1947 – December 21, 2019
We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved friend, father, and grandfather Robert Seth Hayes. Seth transitioned Saturday morning December 21st, 2019 in his own home at the age of 72 years old. Seth devoted his life to fighting for freedom, justice, and peace. We will forever miss his uncompromising spirit, love, gentleness, and grace. We will honor his legacy every day in our lives and communities.
From the Certain Days collective: Rest in Power, Robert Seth Hayes
Some friends have put together a zine collecting the public statements made in memory of Tom Manning since he passed away on July 30th. I wanted to offer it to people to join in spirit with all those who gathered for Tom’s memorial in Boston. [Read more]
How to Write U.S. Political Prisoners
An awesome short video by Burning Books and Page One collective about the history of the Anarchist Black Cross and how to write political prisoners.
Certain Days – a QPIRG Concordia working group
1500 de Maisonneuve Ouest, Suite 204
514-848-7583 fax: 514-848-7584
qpirgconcordia.org – info @ qpirgconcordia.org