The Columbia Collective is a  multimedia arts group of young female and trans incarcerated artists who are defining their own voices through the arts in a system where offense defines identity.

The Collective was founded by three incarcerated artists and in 2019.

Turning to dynamic, multimedia artistic practices to navigate their circumstances––now removed to Wing 3 of Brookwood Secure Center for Youth with smaller units, few resources and fewer freedoms––these artists self-identify and construct personal histories against a system that obscures, indexes, and defines them.

Each artist in the Collective uses a chosen pen name to subvert legal confidentiality, and similarly transgresses popular perceptions of incarcerated youth. Together, the Columbia Collective channels creativity as a form of agency, humor as insurgence, and joy as resistance to the juvenile justice system, ultimately to imagine a decarcerated future and alternative togetherness.

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