‘Dictator and Graves’
‘He Plays Alone’
Two recent prints I have done have been inspired by men I know who have had executions in their families. ‘Dictator and Graves’ was inspired by a politically motivated execution in Chile during the Pinochet Regime in the 1970’s. A colleague who grew up in Chile during the Pinochet regime had his father taken away by security forces. The family fled Chile and moved to the US. The father was never seen again. My colleague grew up without a father.
‘He Plays Alone’ is inspired by that execution and another execution in Texas. A friend’s grandfather was executed (after a murder trial) in the 1920’s in Texas. My friend never knew his grandfather and barely knew his father either. The executions in both families created displacement, economic struggle and confusion in the families that were left behind. A terrible consequence of executions is the damage they do to children and families who are left behind. And these executions impact the rest of us as well.
We are all connected-this is a fact that our artists, spiritual leaders and teachers have made clear to me.
We execute to send a message about Justice, the sanctity of life, the need for security, etc... All governments state these are the reasons for capital punishment. But what does the execution do to the rest of US? What it does is unpleasant, dysfunctional, mean, short sided and often racist.
I find hope in this blog and the dedicated people like Athina who work to end executions in our world. I also feel that the tide is turning on this issue-more governments are discarding the death penalty-and that is a great thing.