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abolitionist pod (prototype) at MOCA


May is Mental Health Awareness month, and this year, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health is looking to artists to create art installations around the city that can provide healing experiences for our communities. As part of the yearly WE RISE initiative, this year’s programming includes Art Rise—a pop-up of 21 artworks that the public can interact with across LA.

Among them is “abolitionist pod (prototype)”, which is quite literally sprouting at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Organized by Crenshaw Dairy Mart, a gallery and community space co-founded by Patrisse Cullors, Alexandre Dorriz, and noé olivas, the artwork is a prototype for what the group calls an “Abolitionist Self-Sustaining Pod and Autonomous Garden.” 

The community garden, which includes hundreds of fruit and vegetable plants sourced from local Black farmers and gardeners, is a prototype for similar pods that the group hopes to implement across the city to combat food insecurity—part of a larger abolitionist vision of offering services and healing for the community. Open from sunrise to sunset, the garden is accessible for the public to come harvest food and learn about farming practices through the end of the month. 

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Photo: Crenshaw Dairy Mart, abolitionist pod (prototype), 2021. Modular Autonomous Garden. Documentation by Giovanni Solis.