The Collective was founded by three incarcerated teens in 2019 and since has grown under the mentorship of artist Maggie Hazen.

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. 


We really do carry all the names we are given, even when we don’t want them.

//Menace to Society//
//The Disposables//

“ We can embody error by finding new ways to self-define, reclaiming the art of naming ourselves. Embodying error--an all consuming joyful failure within a system that never wanted us and that will not make space for us if we simply wait for it.

Inside of us is beatific brokenness and as we travel beyond it, we ask: What next? Where do we go from here?”

-Legacy Russell, Glitch Feminism


Monday Nov 5 2018