Archive for the ‘Letters v1’ Category

ART: Untitled

Posted: October 7, 2010 in Artwork, Letters v1, Media
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Untitled | Kasi Chakravartula

Untitled | Kasi Chakravartula from APSC

Dear Friends,
the Young People of Oakland & Bay Area!

I’m T. Shirosaki, 61 years old, Japanese. I never stay in this country as free person.

I was born and grew up in central North of Japan. It is rural area and my family as peasant. But nearly all were in same poor conditions, so I did not feel so many problems when I was in middle school. When being in high school I could see real rich as well as poor and discriminated people, but did not think so much about social matters because I was busy to study for university.  When I went to university I studied social issues as well as what is capitalism, and imperialism. Thus I became an activist of a student movement. One incident forced me to stop into very radical group, I believed what they told me about incident but it was half true in reality. (more…)

Dear Child of Oakland,

My name is Remar and I have been incarcerated for 18 years now. When I was out I had never thought I would end up in the penal system. I did not listen to my dad and grandparents and told myself “I can do it my way”. I was wrong.

Let me tell you how I ended up in this place. I am hoping that you will not end up like me. At first I had a hard time at school I was being bullied and getting into fights which continued for quite some time. I did not know how to deal with the situation correctly and it profoundly affected me. So I dealt with it in a way I only knew how- keeping it to myself. I started cutting classes to avoid getting beat up. I never resorted to drug. I did not tell anyone what I was going through and was good at hiding my fear. (more…)

Dear A.P.S.C.,

My name is Johnny Tauga Jones and I’m writing a short story of my life in hopes that I could influence at least one kid to change their life.

I was born in San Francisco, CA. Raised in Army street projects and that’s where my downfall began. My father was a drug dealer and user; he also was an alcoholic that was very abusive to me, my two sisters, little brother, and my mother. My mother just came from Samoa & she did not know how to raise a young man in the projects, so I raised myself. Before I got to middle school I was smoking weed and snorting coke on a daily just because my big homies made it look like the thing to do. I started thugging it on a high tech level: fighting, shooting, robbing, selling drugs, and even lightweight pimping. All this before I made it to high school. I was known as a turf hog and had much love and respect from my folks. I moved to Richmond and got worse and a lot harder. I started thizzin and having unprotected sex with a lot of random females. My grandfather died on my 18th birthday and that sent me over the edge. I started popping more pills than normal and I wanted to die. I carjacked this person and that changed my life forever. I never been to Juvi or Y.A. (Youth Authority), because I never got caught. I got caught for the carjacking when I was 18 and for a first offender I should’ve got probation but I could not afford a lawyer and they gave me 7 years-to-life in prison. (more…)

To the young people of Oakland, the Bay and Beyond:

Before I continue to write this letter, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Abubakar Achmad. Everybody calls me Abu for short. I am an inmate in CSP-Solano. Originally I came from Indonesia, a country located in South East Asia with 13,000 islands stretching from Sumatra, all the to Java, Bali, and west of Papua New Guinea. All my family came from Indonesia and I grew up in Jakarta which is the capital of Indonesia. Currently I am incarcerated in the California prison system which is the most bureaucratic prison in the nation.

I am here because I did wrongful doing. I violated the law of the land. The hardest parts about being incarcerated: I miss my family. My loved ones. All my friends. And everything I do I am always being watched: sleeping. Eating. Working. Taking a shower. There is no freedom and privacy whatsoever. Moreover, the California prison system right now is exceeding over crowding. Could you imagine that I’m living in a very small area with a lot of inmates in too. I could tell this story more and more because it is more frightening than you can ever imagine, but I am not trying to scare you or anything. This is just my reality. My life. (more…)

Untitled (Unforgiven)

Untitled (Unforgiven)

Siyo Young Man or Woman,

I am a Native American prisoner in the State of California.

I am from the Yuba Sutter area in Northern California. From middle school into high school I was a part of the Native American Dance group called the Snow Goose Dancers. I have danced in Sacramento, Oakland, Davis, DQ, Chico, Stanford, Berkeley and more as a featured specialty dancer. The only real setback to that is that I am indefinitely removed from my family who would love to dance with me.

I am here because of an armed robbery and attempted murder in which I shot the victim. I was eventually convicted of conspiracy to commit murder which is why I have 25 to life. That means the corrections officials can keep me in prison for the rest of my life. The worst part is that I got locked up when I was 17 and am 2 years away from being locked up for 1/2 my life. (more…)

To the Young People,

My name is Steve Oliva, I’m 54 years of age and I love working out, walking, playing all around sports. I’m from America Samoa. My family also. My parents died while I’ve been here, and I really miss them so much, but I have to stay strong and accept this because it’s a part of our lives.

When I was in elementary school back in the island, I loved history and sports. I love my family and believed in family values and family bond. I have a great life when I was a kid. I always listened to my parents, grandparents, I respect everyone, and especially elders. (more…)

To Anyone That Has an Ear to Listen:

I’m not writing this letter to tell you what to do. How can I tell you what to do, when at times I don’t even know what to do myself. Older people who have experience and wisdom seem to always have the answers. That’s not me. All I can do is give you my account of what I’ve been through. If you choose to listen to my confusing story you can. If you choose not, then you don’t.

My name is Aaron Cornelius Manuel Daria, I’m 31 years old, I was raised in San Francisco. I got half-brothers and sisters, but I was pretty much raised on my alone. I had a roof over my head and food in my belly. Even though I had parents I felt like I didn’t. I had what I needed, but my parents never paid any attention to me. Other parents hug their kids when they get an ‘A’ on their report cards, mine never noticed. They just argue about paying bills, and my dad being a cheater. So I never really had a great childhood. Since I never got any attention at the house, I got it out on the street where similar kids like me had the same type of problems. We all seen eye to eye, and we had no one to look up to. It was just us and the street, and we hung out on it all day and all night. I learned how to drink, smoke weed, and snort coke. By 16 years old I was looking strung out. All of us did. I was a good liar, it came in handy when I was cutting class to go get in trouble. I ran into some older guys that tried to steer me straight. But I didn’t listen because I thought I knew it all. My mom was trying to say something but I didn’t listen to her either. My dad stayed drunk, all he was good for was beating my ass, which helped me get hard. At the same time, I had no respect for anyone, including myself. (more…)

APSC | Khoi Huynh

APSC | Khoi Huynh