The Stolen Lives Illustrated Project (SLIP) is a visual arts project derivative of the Stolen Lives Project, an archival project started back in 1996 by the October 22nd Coalition, National Lawyers Guild, and the Anthony Baez Foundation. The Stolen Lives Project documents police murders across the nation — it has documented, at this point, well over 2000 cases in the last three decades. Utilizing newspaper articles, internet sources, family member interviews and police reports, several of the documented cases have extensive narratives along with some of the personal demographics of each individual (date of birth, date of death, place of residence, race and age). Others, regrettably, have no narrative due to the lack of media available around the case (some people are even unidentified). The first decade of the Stolen Lives Project is available in book form, with the later editions available in PDF format (http://www.stolenlives.org).
The Reasons for SLIP
Going through the pages of the Stolen Lives Book can be a bit intimidating. Imagine a book about a whole cemetery of people, each with a narrative of who they were and how they died, all text, no pictures (okay, maybe a few, but they’re small and some people have photos and others don’t). It can be overwhelming. It was due to this understanding that inspired the idea of SLIP — 1) to create inviting and beautiful art to incite interest from our audience, 2) to create media around a heavy topic that is digestible, 3) to then incite dialogue around the heavy topic of Police Brutality, and 4) last but *not least*, to honor those who have lost their lives to police violence.
What We Foresee In The Future…
World Peace. 🙂 (We’re idealistic, but we know there’s a lot of work to do!) We would like to see SLIP made into various mediums (i.e., comic books, postcards, posters, flyers, magazines) that can be distributed into communities, whether it be schools, colleges/universities, businesses, and wherever else (the streets!!!). We would like to be actively engaged in the dialogue that arises from the artwork that is created, and we would also like to involve the wishes and directions of the family members of Police Brutality victims, their supporters, and other organizers.
Ultimately, we would like to see an End to Police Brutality, and Justice for all Police Brutality victims and their families.
Currently there are at least 5 artists working on illustrating Stolen Lives portraits, and we are looking for more artists to join.