Why the Missing?

When we think about mass incarceration, we have to know about the NUMBERS.

But then we have to get beyond those NUMBERS

By Nicolas Lampert

“Why is mass incarceration invisible to most Americans?” One answer that has been proposed by researchers Robert J. Sampson and Charles Loeffler is that “spatial inequality in punishment helps explain the widespread invisibility of mass incarceration to the average American.”

Our answer is that we as a society intentionally try to disappear prisoners. Yet everyone who is incarcerated is a brother, sister, partner, son, daughter, colleague, cousin, or friend. Even though they are locked in cages behind walls, prisoners are visible to SOMEONE who loves them.

The Missing is our response to the intentional disappearing of prisoners in America. It is a community engagement and public art project that aspires to make prisoners more visible to EVERYONE in Chicago. It is a form of creative resistance and we hope that you will join us.


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