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Victoria Law at an ABC No Rio Halloween open house
|Born||Jamaica, Queens, New York City|
|Alma mater||Brooklyn College|
|Literary movement||English Literature|
|Notable works||Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women|
Background and education
Victoria Law is of Chinese descent and was born and raised in Queens, New York. As an A student in high school, she committed armed robbery to initiate herself into a Chinatown gang, but was given probation as a first offense. Her exposure to incarcerated people at Rikers Island prompted her to get involved in prison support.
She continued fighting for prison abolition, co-founding Books Through Bars NYC as a joint project between Blackout Books and Nightcrawlers Anarchist Black Cross in 1996 at the age of nineteen. The project moved to ABC No Rio in 1997 or 1998.[original research?] In 2003, at the prompting of women incarcerated in an Oregon prison, she launched the zine Tenacious: Art and Writing from Women in Prison. In 2009, after a decade of researching and writing about incarcerated women in the United States, Law published her first monograph with PM Press, Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles Of Incarcerated Women, with a second edition released in 2012. She is a frequent invited speaker, especially since publishing the first edition of Resistance Behind Bars.
Law works with Books Through Bars (now located at Freebird Bookstore in Brooklyn). She has participated in many of ABC No Rio's projects, including its Visual Arts Collective and the darkroom that she co-founded and co-built. She has had tangential involvement in the punk collective, as well, and was the primary caregiver of art and activist space's last remaining squatter, Cookiepuss (1996-2013), a calico cat.
In her twenties, after having a child, Law's activism began to include raising awareness of parents in anarchist communities' need for solidarity, including free childcare activities at events and protests. Together with long-time mamazine maker China Martens, Law began doing workshops and editing compilation zines about parenting for activists and their allies, called Don't Leave Your Friends Behind. The two eventually co-edited a book by the same name, also published by PM. As her child got older and Law engaged with the literature her child read, Law began to focus attention on the lack of racial diversity in young adult fiction, including writing a series of blog posts on girls of color in dystopia for Bitch Media.
- Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women, 2012, 2009
- Don't Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities, 2012. Edited with China Martens.
In addition to many zines she has authored or edited:
- Tenacious: Art & Writing from Women in Prison, 2003–present, editor
- Nefarious Doings series, about travel in Hong Kong and South Africa, 2006
- Mamazines, contributor
Articles, blog posts and web articles
- 2013, Health Behind Bars Fellowship, John Jay’s Center on Media, Crime and Justice
- 2011, Brooklyn College Young Alumna Award
- 2009, Prevention for a Safer Society PASS Award for book Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women
- Bennett, Hans (July 21, 2009). "Beyond Attica: The Untold Story of Women's Resistance Behind Bars". AlterNet. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
- Kimball, Whitney (September 5, 2012). "The ABC No Rio Interviews: Vikki Law". Art F City. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
- Email from Victoria Law
- Chidgey, Red; Zobl, Elke. "Tenacious: Art and Writing from Women in Prison. An interview with Vikki Law from New York, United States". Grassroots Feminism. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
- Law, Victoria (2012). Resistance Behind Bars: the struggles of incarcerated women (2nd ed.). Oakland: PM Press. ISBN 9781604865837. OCLC 878836279.
- Law, Victoria. "Events". Resistance Behind Bars. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
- "Volunteer at Books Through Bars". Freebird Books. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
- Vidani, Peter. "Cookiepuss: RIP much loved ABC No Rio cat". ABC No Rio. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
- Law, Vikki; Martens, China (2012). Don't leave your friends behind: concrete ways to support families in social justice movements and communities. Oakland: PM Press. ISBN 9781604867978. OCLC 815480102.
- Law, Victoria (March 22, 2013). "Do Girls of Color Survive Dystopia?". Bitch Media. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
- "Search results for '"resistance behind bars"' > 'Victoria Law'". OCLC. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "Don't leave your friends behind : concrete ways to support families in social justice movements and communities> 'Victoria Law'". OCLC. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "Search results for 'su:zines au:law' > 'Vikki Law'". OCLC. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "Tenacious : art and writings from women in prison". Barnard College Library/Columbia University Libraries. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "nefarious vikki law". Barnard College Library/Columbia University Libraries. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "vikki law mamazines". Barnard College/Columbia University Libraries. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "Links to Articles about Gender, Incarceration and Resistance". Victoria Law. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "Victoria Law". BitchMedia. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "Health Behind Bars conference program, Fellows Biographies". truthout. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "Health Behind Bars, Fellows Biographies" (PDF). John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "2011 Young Alumna Award - Victoria Law '02". Brooklyn College Alumni. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
- "2009 PASS Award Winners" (PDF). NCCD National Council on Crime & Delinquency. Retrieved 10 May 2014.