March 11, 2021
Title: Belly of the Beast
Organizers: Graduate Institute Student Association (GISA), Human Rights, Conflict & Peace initiative and Gender Centre, Graduate Institute Geneva
Description: Belly of the Beast exposes modern-day eugenics and reproductive injustice in California prisons, through intimate accounts from currently and formerly incarcerated people.
Kelli Dillon, who was involuntarily sterilised at the age of 24 while incarcerated, teams up with Cynthia Chandler, a human rights lawyer, to fight for reproductive justice at the world’s largest women’s prison, the Central California Women’s Facility. As they prepare to take Kelli’s case to court, they uncover a wide range of crimes occurring within the facility – from inadequate access to healthcare to sexual assault to illegal sterilization – the latter largely perpetrated against the facility’s Black and Latinx populations.
Their joint efforts in exposing the atrocities carried out behind closed doors ultimately shed new, timely light on the systemic racism and violence impacting people of color in women’s prisons, in a fight for reparations and justice.