Picture A World Free: Clean Air Clean Water For All of Us by Cedar Annenkovna Mortenson

Picture A World Free: Clean Air Clean Water For All of Us by Cedar Annenkovna Mortenson

Medium: gold leaf paper and shades of brown colored pencil

Size: 8.5″ X 11″

Artist statement: Prosperity is not defined by the accumulation of material objects, but by the peace of standing in relation to all of life in a nurturing way that promotes mutual survival through cooperation. Freedom is clean air, clean water for all of life, humans and all creation. Freedom is action that promotes the vitality and well being of all living things. Stop buying non-biodegradable products and packaging: reconsider. Reduce. Reuse. Repair. Reinvent. Recycle. Upcycle. Freedom is not living in fear of war and gun violence. To love is to forgive, and forgiveness is not a random act, but an attitude and overall outlook on life. To be forgiving is to be free and as an abolitionist, I strive for freedom not only for myself, but for all life around me. I recognize the inherent right to life for all living creation. We exist in tandem with each other and every other living thing. I used gold leaf paper befitting a golden, free world, and my color choice is a tribute to all beautiful tones of brown behind bars from cream, to mahogany. I used multiple languages because the message is universal/ Education is liberation. Everyday I become more and more free.  

Artist bio: I am Azerbaijan born to circumvent the nations of Georgia, Russia, Syria, Canada, Mexico, and most recently the US. I am serving a 15 year sentence for aggravated armed robbery. As an abolitionist artivist who uses art, poetry, and education and legislation as a means to create consciousness and iterate change, ending mass incarceration is a shared passion we have. Creating a platform for the incarcerated to share their voice and creativity is a vital step towards changing the narrative regarding people in prison.

Image description: This illustration is created with colored pencils on golden glittery paper. The drawing is shaped like a crest with a woman, wearing a head scarf, seated cross legged turn to the side, reading a book in the center. Below her is the planet earth, with trees growing out of it, plants and flowers, there is a crane to the left and a tiger to the right. And circling the woman is Text that says “clean air, water for all life at the top. It says Picture A Free World, no gun violence. There are many other languages written across the drawing. Surrounding the woman’s head are drawings of a small boat, a dragonfly, bees, and a honeycomb, butterflies star in buildings in a city, or in the backdrop.