Solidarity Builds Change by Charmaine Pfender

A color-pencil drawing of four women and trans individuals working together to plant a flag and flagpole into a rock labeled “D.O.C.” The colorful flag has names of many groups that organize to end mass incarceration: Jail Break PGH., HRC, ALC, ACLU, SA, PPS, Decarerate P.A., J & M, FFLE, Cadbe, FFLW, LGF, F.A.M.M., HOAW, WLR PPA, LifersInc., Reconstruction Inc., and ALP. The rock has cracks where the flagpole is being planted and three flowers grow out of the cracks

Solidarity Builds Change by Charmaine Pfender

Medium: cardstock, color pencil and pens
Size: 8 in x 11 in

Artist statement: “The woman & Trans inmates feel the empathy from all the groups that fight, along side of LGF with the same agenda, to see us released from prison. But these groups also work with us to make sure our needs are being met while in prison. And because we are included in the work, we feel a part of our growth and the change it is bringing about. 

The Truth in this drawing is shown in the action of driving our flag into the DOC until it cracks & begins to bloom Change. Obviously, Solidarity is shown that many groups & hands of groups are on that flag forcing the DOC to listen to our Collective Voices. The cracks & flag itself created bloomage in the action of cracking the rock.

I have a little bit of history with the Iwo Jima statue. My great grandmother Susan Burke worked in Pittsburgh welding (a regular Rosie the riveter) for the government. It was during the war when women had to work these male jobs (back then). She was building all the parts to build ships. Her proudest moment was that the flag that was raised by the real men in Iwo Jima that the statue was create from, came from a ship she built. So I always think of that statue and how it takes even the most unlikeliest people to play a role in a historic event. I guess that is what came to mind when coming up with this concept for LGF. No matter how small your part, if we work together we can achieve great things, like cracking the stone that is the DOC.”

Charmaine was one of the co-founders of Let’s Get Free and is on our Prison Advisory Board