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Uncaging Our Imaginations

Fifteen pieces on imprisonment and abolition

This list is part of the celebration of the tenth anniversary of The Margins, which highlights portions of the magazine’s archive organized around a theme.

What does detention or imprisonment by the state look like for Asians? And what does abolition, liberation, and solidarity look like? The desire to illuminate who and how people are imprisoned—whether it be in an immigration detention center, a prison, one’s house, or in the belief systems behind incarceration—drives much of the work in The Margins, especially in our project A World Without Cages, which is dedicated to work by and about the incarcerated. These fifteen pieces, published in the magazine’s first ten years, attend to the histories and legacies of imprisonment and, as Roshan Abraham writes, ask us to “uncage our imaginations and think intergenerationally” and imagine better futures.

Read the full list below.

Pieces from top to bottom, left to right:

  1. Poems for Tiananmen by Liu Xia and Liao Yiwu
    by Liu Xia and Liao Yiwu, translated from the Chinese by Ming Di, Jennifer Ster, and Katie Farris (2014)

  2. State of Erasure: Arizona’s Place, and the Place of Arizona in the Mass Incarceration of Japanese Americans
    by Brandon Shimoda (2017)

  3. Collateral Damage
    by Sarah Khan (2017)

  4. From Prison Chaplain to Imprisoned Chaplain
    by April Xu (2017)

  5. Imagining Abolition: A Conversation with Jackie Wang
    by Mark Tseng-Putterman (2018)

  6. Fighting for Asylum Seekers Who Look Like Me
    by Kanwalroop Kaur Singh (2019)

  7. Drop a Kite
    by Fong Lee (2019)

  8. The Ghosts of No-No Boy in a Nation That Still Imprisons Immigrants
    by Julian Saporiti (2019)

  9. มันทำร้ายเราได้แค่นี้แหละ || All They Could Do to Us (an excerpt)
    by Prontip Mankhong, translated from the Thai by Tyrell Haberkorn (2020)

  10. For Future People: Reflections on Imprisonment
    by Roshan Abraham (2020)

  11. Seeing the Transfer of Exclusion in the 1965 Immigration Act: Asian Americans for Collective Liberation
    by Kevin Hu (2020)

  12. South Asians for Abolition: Beyond Gilded Cages
    South Asians for Abolition: Diasporic Strategies and Conversations” by Mon M. and Sharmin Hossain (2020)

  13. Where No One Suffers Hungry
    by Havannah Tran (2021)

  14. We Were Not Allowed to Mourn
    by Lylla Younes (2021)

  15. The Prakash Churaman Story: Raised by the System
    The Prakash Churaman Story: Fighting for His Freedom
    by Gaiutra Bahadur (2022)