This Cantastoria (picture storytelling with song) uses a handmade quilt to trace the history of the Prison Industrial Complex from slavery to mass incarceration and the killing of black and brown people by police in the U.S. The project is a collaboration with self-taught quilter Sylvia Hernandez and community-based organization El Puente. The piece was first performed at El Puente’s annual ¡WEPA! Festival for Southside Performing Arts, and a second time with youth artists of El Puente’s For The Movement Theatre Collective (FTM), both in the Southside of Williamsburg (Los Sures), Brooklyn. 

The video (below) is a compilation of several performances while traveling the Cantastoria for the When We Fight, We Win! Book Tour (2016). The quilt has been exhibited at The Clemente in the Lower East Side, New York and at the 2018 Facing Race Conference in Detroit.

Photo by Erik McGregor


Jorge Díaz Ortiz