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Tran Chau Ha

Trần Châu Hà, We was girls together

We was girls together by Trần Châu Hà portrays the life of Maria Legarda, a re-entry consultant from Asian Prisoner Support Committee.  Maria’s story is one of many: she is a survivor of gender-based violence, forced to migrate to the United States due to the economic consequences of Western imperialism in the Philippines. Migrant women like Maria experience the compounding forces of colonialism, border exclusion, and economic exploitation in the United States, making them even more vulnerable to abusive relationships. In their attempts to survive, these women are usually met with criminal punishment rather than support or care: an estimated 94% of those in women’s facilities are abuse survivors. 

 

In the absence of state-sanctioned support, these women turn to one another, building their own networks of care and advocacy for each other’s freedom. These networks illuminate the nature in which feminist care work is inherently a practice of racial solidarity between Black, Brown, indigenous, and API women. This zine seeks to honor Maria’s story alongside that of her community of incarcerated women, documenting their solidarity campaigns, mutual aid projects, and life-affirming relationships to one another.

 

About Trần Châu Hà

Trần Châu Hà (she/her) is a designer, illustrator, and zine-maker. She facilitates the APSC Literature Club in CIW and CCWF in California. She has also worked on campaigns to stop direct transfers from California state prisons to immigrant detention. Her illustrations have shifted the narrative tide on criminality in support of organizations and coalitions such as the Asian Law Caucus, Survived & Punished, Urban Peace Movement, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and ICE out of CA. Her essay on feminist care work and abolition organizing titled “Where No One Suffers Hungry” is featured in the Margins best of 2021 published by the Asian American Writer’s Workshop. Outside of her community work, Trần is an active member of the zine community, having exhibited work at Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Francisco zine fests in the past. She is steadfast in her commitment to dismantling prisons and liberating Palestine. She will work with the Asian Prisoner Support Committee to create visual art pieces.

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