JustUs: Stories from the frontlines of the criminal justice system
An excerpt of the JustUs performance was available for the entire REstART week. On 3 December 2020 we met (on Zoom) with Motus theatre artistic director Kirsten Wilson and JustUs Monologist Juaquin Mobley (USA).
Motus Theater worked with formerly incarcerated leaders to develop autobiographical monologues about the criminality and injustice within the criminal justice system. Monologues cover themes as diverse as racial profiling, inequity in the bond/bail system, human rights abuses in prison, the criminalisation of substances abusers, and the systemic racism and poverty that pushes young people into illicit economies because they are shut out of legal opportunities.
Some of the JustUs monologues were available during the week of the REstART Festival. On 3 December we scheduled a talk with the artistic director Kirsten Wilson and Motus JustUs monologist Juaquin Moble. Special guest of this event is Fania Davis, restorative justice advocate and social justice activist in Oakland, who recently published "The Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice: Black Lives, Healing, and US Social Transformation". Also Tunde Adefioye, city dramaturge and poet from Brussels, will join the discussion.
Scroll down to watch this conversation.
The JustUs performance premiered at the 2019 U.S. National Association of Community and Restorative Justice conference. On this occasion, JustUs monologists read their own stories and law enforcement leaders step into their shoes by reading aloud JustUs stories. The formerly incarcerated leaders in JustUs asked law enforcement to sit in a circle with them and hear the harm they experienced, so that justice can be restored to the criminal justice system itself.
Motus Theater has provided a voice to those who were voiceless. And as a result, a lot of people are speaking about things that they weren’t speaking about; the injustices of the justice system, and it’s punitive damage.
Juaquin Mobley, Motus JustUs monologist, on the impact of the JustUs Project
Motus Theater (Colorado, U.S.A.) creates original theater to facilitate dialogue on critical issues of our time. They work with people on the frontlines of violence in America to create autobiographical monologues. They then partner with prominent Americans and law enforcement to stand in the shoes of Motus monologists by reading aloud their stories on stage and in podcast formats to increase awareness, shift attitudes, and inspire action towards a more equitable and just country.