Ain’t No Mo’ director Stevie Walker-Webb will combine advocacy and art in Hundreds of Thousands as he spends 24 hours confined to a six-by-nine-foot space beginning August 22 at 5 PM ET. The project marks the 122nd day his brother Steven Waday Walker-Webb has spent in solitary confinement in jail.
The performance will take place on the grounds of the McLennan County (Highway 6) Jail in Waco, Texas, with a live stream available to watch on The Public Theater’s YouTube.
Hundreds of Thousands creates a visual representation of what incarcerated might experience while living with a mental illness. “Waday suffers from bipolar schizophrenia,” says the artist. “On April 22, 2020, Waday was brutally arrested in my family’s front yard while having a bipolar-schizophrenic episode. When my family called the local mental health emergency response team...the police were sent. They took my brother to jail instead of a mental health hospital. He was arrested and placed in solitary confinement, not for committing a crime but simply for being mentally ill.” Read Walker-Webb’s entire statement here.
Hundreds of Thousands takes place during Black August, a movement started in the 1970s to break the unjust policing system that disproportionately affects the Black community in America today. The demonstration is also in alignment with the Poor People’s Campaign.