Across the Walls (still), 2022, courtesy of Let's Get Free: The Women and Trans Prisoner Defense Committee

Across the Walls Screening and Discussion: Commutation Works with Henrietta Harris

Carnegie Museum of Art Theater

Join us for a collective viewing of Across the Walls, a documentary film that offers an intimate glimpse into the experiences of women sentenced to life in prison without parole in the state of Pennsylvania. After decades of activism and community building, Avis Lee and Paulette Carrington were released from life sentences after each serving over 40 years. As they adjust to life outside, they’ve kept their focus on organizing to end life without parole and helping the women they left inside be released. The film stages a conversation between Avis and Paulette on the outside and five women who are still on the inside. Using interviews, found footage, and landscape cinematography, the film assembles a story about the women’s interior lives, against the backdrop of spaces they’ve inhabited and spaces they’ve been taken away from. Never straying from the women’s points of view, Across the Walls is a meditation on memory, and manifestations for a free future. Across the Walls was commissioned for the 58th Carnegie International and made by artist Njaimeh Njie.

Following the film, panelists Ricky Olds, Richard Garland, and Terri Minor Spencer invite you to consider that second chances given to those who have been incarcerated can actually make our communities safer, more loving, and collectively thrive. We will hear the stories of returning citizens who are building pathways home for the people they left behind and how their experiences impact all of us inside and outside of the carceral system.

Filmed and Edited by Njaimeh Njie

Access Notes: Wheelchair accessible. Captions on film.


Film Screening: 6–6:30 p.m.
Conversation with Henrietta Harris: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Light Refreshments: 7:30–8 p.m.

Commutation Works

Henrietta Harris is the 7th woman to receive commutation of a life sentence in Pennsylvania and has been home for one year. Join us to hear about her journey with Pennsylvania's only clemency process for people sentenced to life without parole.