Archive for the ‘prison’ Category

blah, blah #15. (prison and homelessness)

August 28, 2007

where I am is not who I am is my gut response to how I sometimes feel perceived while holding my cardboard dream on the street. which got me to thinking how I will often conflate a person’s surrounding with who I think they are, and how certain places seem to “mark” a person… like a prison, or a homeless shelter, or a mental health institution, in a shameful or negative way. and yet I know the “whatever it is that makes us who we are” is often in stark contrast to where we find ourselves. people are all different, and we carry a whole history within us, –each of us came from somewhere before we arrived where we are now.

and I can’t figure out this relation between where and who we are… places mark us, define how we are perceived, how we respond to the world around us. but we are passing through, not permanent residents in any kind of fixed environment, and yet, where I find myself does impact me and how I relate to the world. life is so strange…

this url below is a link to the inmates radio at bordeaux prison. it is a good place to start thinking about the relation between place and perception.


August 28, 2007


translated: Where I am is not who I am.

I was too chicken to go to the prison on my own, so jean-pierre from dare-dare came with me and took some photos. but actually it was o.k., the first place I stood a guard drove up in a truck, got out, and told me I couldn’t stand there. I asked if the sidewalk was o.k. and he affirmed it was. only one person stopped to talk, a man in a wheelchair who was propelling himself down the road. he asked if I was crazy. I replied, “why do you think I’m crazy?” he said only a crazy person would stand with a sign. he wanted to know what the sign meant, and I told him it meant where we are is not who we are. I said, “like you—you are in a wheelchair, but that is not who you are.” he said he didn’t understand and that he couldn’t talk any longer.

left at: Établissèment de detention de Montréal, Bordeaux Prison. 800 Gouin Boulevard, corner of Salaberry.