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Image of a cell
5/23/24, 6pm - 8pm
Grimshaw Architects New York
1.5 LU / 1.5 HSW

How can architects be better advocates for a better world? The Reimagining Justice Film Festival will create the opportunity to encounter revolutionary ideas through investigating the history and lived experiences of people as we watch documentaries relating to Justice Reform, Environmental Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. For the 2024 festival, film screenings occur every Thursday in May. 

The fourth event on May 23 will feature three documentary films Unguarded  by Simonetta d'Italia Wiener, TED Talk by JR: Why Art is a Tool for Hope, and Street Music – Laws That Prohibit JD Marlow, followed by a Q&A with the award winning filmmaker Simonetta d'Italia Wiener and Mycal Pagan.

About Unguarded
Unguarded by Simonetta d'Italia Wiener takes us inside the walls of APAC, the revolutionary Brazilian prison system centered on the full recovery and rehabilitation of the person. Beginning in 1972, APAC founder Dr. Mario Ottoboni volunteered in some of Brazil’s worst prisons. Seeing men and women frequently return to a life of crime once they left prison, Dr. Ottoboni decided to found his own restorative justice-based system. The results have been extraordinary: while the crime rate and recidivism rates have continued to increase in Brazil's public prisons, within the APAC (Association for the Protection and Assistance of Convicts) system they have steadily decreased. Unguarded explores the unique method behind this system, now present in 23 countries across four continents. Observing the daily lives of the “recuperandos” (recovering inmates) who live and work there, we see firsthand why—as one inmate puts it—“no one escapes from love. 

Series Flyer

Simonetta d'Italia Wiener, Film Curator, Artistic Director and Production Consultant
Mycal Pagan, Storyteller, Scholar, Photographer and Filmmaker
Robert Turley, featured in the film "Street Musician – Laws that Prohibit"

Shaun Leonardo, Recess Art 

About the Speakers:
Simonetta d’italia Wiener earned a Doctor of Law degree from the University of Milan and her thesis topic was “The condition of the Juvenile Prisons In Italy, in particular the case of Cesare Beccaria Prison in Milan.” She also participated in a program for the Advanced Study of the Arts sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Culture and earned a Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration. From 1996 through 1999 she worked with the Association of Volunteers in International Service (AVSI Foundation), at the United Nations, and today she works as coordinator of the Program Restorative Freedom Initiative, based on the APAC methodology. D’italia Wiener is a professor and filmmaker, and has always been interested in the link between art and storytelling. She has been a professor of Italian language, literature, and film at St. Francis College in New York City for 27 years and co-director of the Study Abroad Program at the School of Visual Arts. D’italia Wiener has curated many film events at the School of Visual Arts as well as for the Crossroads Cultural Center in NYC. She was also the Artistic Director of the Meeting Rimini Film Festival for eight years and she has been a production consultant for short films. Recently, she co-founded with Giovanni Morricone, a film production company, Camino Productions NYC, LLC. In 2015-2016 she co-directed and co-produced, with Giovanni Morricone, the award-winning documentary The Awakened Heart. In 2019, she directed and produced the award-winning documentary Unguarded. The documentary chronicles APAC’s (Association for the Protection and Assistance of Convicts) revolutionary method for prison system transformation that’s centered on the full recovery and rehabilitation of the person.

Mycal Pagan is a storyteller, scholar, photographer, filmmaker, on a mission to redefine narratives by amplifying marginalized voices. As the founder of Papillon Creative Lab, Pagan wants to inspire positive change through the art of storytelling and design, dedicating his craft to serving others. Currently serving as the Associate Director of Communications at Thrive For Life, a nonprofit committed to transforming lives both behind and beyond prison walls, Pagan's work pushes boundaries of what is possible for students with experiences of incarceration. A recent graduate from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, Pagan explored the intricate interplay between physical spaces, narrative, design, and the impact of these on human existence. With grants from the Urban Humanities Research Fund, he has co-produced, co-directed, and co-edited two short documentaries: one was a short documentary series focusing on the financial costs of incarceration, while the other shed light on the intersection of carcerality, debt, and car ownership. Collaborating with a myriad of organizations, Pagan has delivered over a dozen short-form documentaries and stories, each a testament to his unwavering commitment to amplifying marginalized voices. With a deep belief in the transformative power of storytelling, Pagan envisions a future where he uses art to serve as a bridge, connecting disparate worlds and fostering empathy and understanding. As he paves his way towards a career in brand marketing and documentary filmmaking, Pagan continues to illuminate the path for others, one story at a time.

Robert Turley, author of the forthcoming memoir, Inktown: A Memoir of a Black Community, a White Family, and the Boy Who Sought Peace in Both, recently signed with Lara Love Hardin, two-time Oprah’s Book Club selectee and literary agent for Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, and Jane Goodall. Turley is an activist who, along with Maurice and Tanya Upthegrove, successfully rallied his community to move Malcolm X’s house from his hometown's demolition list. He was a litigant in successful federal lawsuits (Turley vs. NYPD and Turley vs. Giuliani) covered in full-page and front-page articles in the New York Times, New York Law Journal, and other publications.

Turley is also an internationally acclaimed musician:

Bass Magazine (Japan): "Robert Turley is a virtuoso on the bass. An unparalleled performance that will leave you awestruck."

Bass Player Magazine: “The technique Robert Turley has created is unique in the music world.”

Guitar Magazine: "A model of musicianship."

Turley is president and founder of the 3,000-member Korean Art Society, publisher and editor of the Korean Art Society Journal, author of textbook chapters on art and history for McGraw-Hill, and recipient of the Global Korea Award from the Council on Korean Studies at Michigan State University.

Shaun Leonardo is a Brooklyn-based artist from Queens. His multidisciplinary work negotiates societal expectations of manhood—namely surrounding black and brown masculinities and related notions of achievement, collective identity, and experience of failure. He joined Recess in 2021 as Co-Director, helping guide the organization’s continuous evolution as an engine of social change. His performance practice, anchored by his work in Assembly—the organization’s diversion program for court-involved youth—is participatory and invested in a process of embodiment. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, is a recipient of support from Creative Capital, Guggenheim Social Practice, Art for Justice, and A Blade of Grass, and was recently profiled in The New York Times and CNN. His work has been featured at institutions including the Guggenheim Museum, the High Line, and the New Museum.

More in the Reimagining Justice Film Festival:
Reimagining Justice Film Festival (1 of 5): Mothers of Bedford
Reimagining Justice Film Festival (2 of 5): 16 Bars
Reimagining Justice Film Festival (3 of 5): Navigating a Volatile Tide
Reimagining Justice Film Festival (5 of 5): Rights and Reactions

Organized by:
AIANY Architecture for Justice Committee

Supported by:
AIANY Women in Architecture Committee; AIANY Diversity and Inclusion Committee; AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee; AIANY Committee on the Environment

Image of a cell
5/23/24, 6pm - 8pm
Grimshaw Architects New York
Group 6 Created with Sketch.


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