Check out images from the project and highlights from our conversation with Scott about the intersection of art, politics and revolution.
On the politics of mass incarceration:
"America is a country that was founded on slavery and genocide. But the war on drugs policies started by [Ronald] Reagan and presided over by all presidents, including [Bill] Clinton and [Barack] Obama have served to quadruple the prison population since 1980 with most of those prisoners being Black or Latino. The war on drugs systematically targeted this population and has resulted in what Michelle Alexandar appropriately labels The New Jim Crow. And coupled with the laws, police focus, prosecutorial proceedings, sentencing, and parole control; there is a cultural rationalization and ideology that Reagan put forward that was widely touted in the major media at the time that depicted Black youth as unredeemable criminals and monsters.
On art as a tool for change:
"We need a revolution and anything short of that is not going to end the oppressive conditions people are confronted with. I'm not trying to change laws and while I hope for broader media coverage, I don't evaluate a project based on this. My work raises important questions that are confronting humanity. I hope to create space for people to think about these questions and in some cases think in new and deeper ways about them. This contributes to a broader process of people building a movement for revolution."
"The youth really got what Wanted is about and got what this was about right away. They saw it as a way to be defiant about how they are being treated. Some older folks were more hesitant and I believe that this cautiousness is unfortunately too common amongst older people who tend to overly focus on potential risks."
"Overall the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. When taking the Wanted project flyers to put up in barber shops, nail salons and bodegas people were overwhelmingly receptive. We talked with people and many shared stories of how the police had abused or harassed them or their friends and often wanted copies of the flyers to have. I'm certain that there will be some in the community who don't like this project, but I have not heard that sentiment yet."
"Wanted is going to be increasingly visible in Harlem in the coming days. And right now people can download copies of the poster and expand its reach, including to new cities. Beyond this, now that it is out in the world, I have to assess where things are at with the project and see what else I want to focus on and plot any next steps."