Panel Discussion/Talk

Open Session 2: Betty Yu

Tuesday, April 25, 2023
7 – 9PM

Artist and activist Betty Yu examines on the ground socially-engaged movements, in particular the growing grassroots movement in NYC calling for the abolition of prisons, the police state and the carceral system as a whole. Since 2017, the city has continued to push forward plans to build 4 borough based jails in the guise of closing Rikers Island, one of the worst prisons in the U.S. One of those jails is in the heart of NYC’s Chinatown in Lower Manhattan. It will be the tallest jailscraper in the world. The other jails are being proposed in Kew Gardens, Queens; Downtown Brooklyn, and in Mott Haven, Bronx. Meanwhile, prominent activists from the feminist and social justice movement are praising a new initiative to build a “Feminist” Jail in Harlem. Yu is assembling a roundtable discussion which will highlight grassroots approaches to advancing the fight for abolition in immigrant, low-income and communities of color.

About the Artist

Betty Yu is a multimedia artist, photographer, filmmaker and activist born and raised in New York City to Chinese immigrant parents. Yu integrates documentary film, new media platforms, and community-infused approaches into her practice, and she is a co-founder of Chinatown Art Brigade, a cultural collective using art to advance anti-gentrification organizing. She holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College/CUNY, and New Media Narratives program certificate from the International Center Photography.

Yu teaches video, social practice, art and activism at Pratt Institute, John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY, and The New School, in addition to over 20 years of community, media justice, and labor organizing work. Among various distinctions, she was a participant of After the Plaster Foundation, or, “Where Can We Live?” (Queens Museum, 2020-21). In Fall 2020, she curated Imagining De-Gentrified Futures at Apex Art in Tribeca, NYC.

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