In Tune : @Large

Alcatraz Penitentiary

That’s the penitentiary up at the top where the cell blocks and clinic were situated.  Cell Block A, where Ai WeiWei had his audio installation In Tune, looks out of this side of the building.

Looking down the line at Cell Block A, where each cell has the music or poetry of imprisoned political dissidents piped in from the air vents.

Cell Block A - Virgin Mary Put Putin Away (Punk Prayer)

A stainless steel stool was placed in each cell so one could sit and identify with the political prisoner while listening to the piece that either was inspired by the imprisonment or the sort that garnered it. Above was the cell devoted to Pussy Riot (from Russia) with their punk prayer, Virgin Mary Put Putin Away blaring away, here’s a taste below, click to listen:


In Tune - Ai WeiWei At Large on Alcatraz - Cell Block A - Pussy Riot Wall


Cell Block A - Toxika by Plastic People of the World

Toxika, Plastic People of the Universe (Czech)

Cell Block A - A Homesick Sparrow, Mahjoub Sharif

A Homesick Sparrow, Mahjoub Sharif (Sudanese)

Cell Block A - Raise the Tibetn Flag Children of the Snowland, Lolo

Raise the Tibetan Flag Children of the Snowland, Lolo (Tibetan)

Cell Block A - In this Dead-End Street, Ahmad Shamlu

In This Dead-End Street, Ahmad Shamlu (Iranian) had a heartbreaking line, “Songbird kebab roasts over flames of lily and jasmine”.

Cell Block A - Victor Jara, Manifesto

Manifesto, Victor Jara (Chilean)

Cell Block A - Sorrow Tears and Blood, Fela Kuti

Sorrow Tears and Blood, Fela Kuti (Nigerian)

Door to cell


One of the cells was for Martin Luther King Jr, I thought I’d close with this quote from his speech that was playing.

Martin Luther King Jr quote