Between the Mines and the Mountaintops: Remembrance, Learning, and Activism at Brushy Mountain Penitentiary
Amigud, Olga E.
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Brushy Mountain Penitentiary is located near Knoxville, TN, in the coal-rich region of Appalachian Mountains. Built in 1896 in response to the violent events of Coal Creek War, the prison traces its roots to the forgotten and shameful history of convict leasing. Today, it stands as a reminder of complicity to the shameful practices of the past and mass incarcerations of the present, and as such should not - must not - be erased from the collective memory of American society. This thesis will propose a new use for Brushy Mountain that seeks to preserve its memory while raising awareness of the conditions that created it, with the goal of nurturing activists who can change those conditions. As a center for study, research, and education, it will provide a space of enlightenment for criminal justice scholars and activists, as well as members of the public, interested in the subject of American incarceration and prison labor, and who wish to become activists equipped for change in the current justice system. This thesis makes an argument that the physical elements of Brushy Mountain Penitentiary and their historic and emotional attributes can be utilized through the framework of the concepts of pedagogy of remembrance and place; material realization of these concepts will become the goal of the thesis architectural interventions.
- Architecture