Disrupting the Cradle to Prison Pipeline, by Ndume Olatushani

March 27, 2017
image of artwork
Photo by Maria Penrod

During Lent, an exhibit of the Stations of the Cross in Washington, D.C., invites pilgrims to keep vigil. An app called Alight: Art and the Sacred provides maps and GPS to help the pilgrim locate stations in museums and churches, at memorials, and along streets. The first station, located across from the Supreme Court building, features Disrupting the Cradle to Prison Pipeline, by artist and former death row prisoner Ndume Olatushani. After serving 27 years for a murder he didn’t commit, Olatushani had his sentence overturned in 2012. “I’m not claiming to be Jesus Christ, but I know what it is like to be persecuted and almost executed,” says Olatushani. Using chicken wire, he molded orange prison jumpsuits into prisoners bowed and writhing in agony. A figure in a jumpsuit, seated next to two figures dressed in hoodies, represents the one in three black men who are incarcerated in the United States.