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.