Kite Line is a weekly radio program and podcast that focuses on issues in the prison system and beyond.

On the inside, a message is called a kite: whispered words, a note passed hand to hand, or a request submitted to guards for medical care. 

Illicit or not, sending a kite means trusting that other people will pass it farther along, until it reaches its destination. 

We make this show to pass along words, across the prison walls

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Recent Episodes

267 | We Are Human Beings: Words From an Attica Rebel

This month, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising, a high point of the prisoners’ movement of the 1960s and 70s.  On September 9th, 1971, prisoners revolted, building on their own organizing and local grievances, as well as responding to the assassination of George Jackson by guards at Soledad Prison in California.  Right now, marking both events and continuing a long tradition of struggle, prisoners and their allies across the US are conducting a Shut ‘Em Down campaign against prison slavery. Frank Smith, known as Big Black, was a prisoner

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266 | The Punitive Image of the State

For our episode this week, we share the second of a two-part conversation between Nicole Fleetwood and Micol Seigel. Fleetwood’s recent book, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, is a wide-ranging exploration of visual art made by people in prison. Fleetwood explains “I started working on this book as a way to deal with the grief about so many of my relatives, neighbors, and childhood friends who were spending years, decades, or life sentences in prison. It was also an effort to connect with others who are separated from their loved

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265 | Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, Part One

We start out by sharing a statement from Jailhouse Lawyers Speak about the Shut ‘Em Down campaign, scheduled for August 21st and September 9th, historic days for Black struggle inside and against prison. Afterwards, we share the first of a two-part conversation between Nicole Fleetwood and Micol Seigel. Fleetwood’s recent book, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, is an exploration of visual art made by people in prison. Fleetwood says, “I started working on this book as a way to deal with the grief about so many of

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264 | Summer of Kites 2021

This week, we share urgent messages – kites – sent by a range of people caught up in the prison system.  It’s important to listen for the voices of prisoners, whether it’s the hunger strike declaration by a longterm inside organizer like Shaka Shakur, Jessica Reznicek’s reflections as she is about to enter prison as an unrepentant water protector, or Flexxboi Diggy’s creatively writing raps from inside an Indiana county jail.  If one of the ways prison functions is by isolating people and silencing their voices, we can instead work to amplify those voices, and link

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263 | Passing Time

This week, we return to our conversation with David Campbell, a former antifascist political prisoner from New York. In this episode, Campbell continues to talk about his time on Rikers Island, this time focusing on jobs and other ways that people pass the time inside- sleeping, video games, visits, and how the tedium of incarceration can fuel addiction. Campbell ends by talking about his experiences with relationship building during and after incarceration. You can check out previous episodes with David

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262 | Standing Together

This week, we are highlighting two experiences of outside solidarity with prisoners.  First, we share audio from last week’s rally in Indianapolis for clemency, including a recorded statement by Leon Benson, a longtime imprisoned organizer, as well as a speech by his son, Leon Bluitt, about the impact of growing up with an incarcerated parent. After that, we feature an interview with Danielle Chanzes, one of three people arrested on felony charges after a solidarity demo outside Florida State Prison last December.  The protest was responding to prisoners demanding improved COVID safety measures

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