Adamu Chan

Adamu Chan is a filmmaker, writer, and community organizer from the Bay Area who was incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison during one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in the country.

He produced numerous short films while incarcerated, using his vantage point and experience as an incarcerated person as a lens to focus the viewer’s gaze on issues related to social justice. In 2021, he was a recipient of the “Docs in Action Film Fund”, through Working Films, and was tapped to produce and direct his film, What These Walls Won’t Hold. Adamu is currently working on the doc-series ‘Bridge Builders’, partnering with ITVS. He is also a 2022 Stanford University Center for the Comparative Studies of Race and Ethnicity Mellon Arts Fellow. Adamu draws inspiration and energy from the voices of those directly impacted, and seeks to empower them to reshape the narratives that have been created about them through film.

Right of Return Project

What These Walls Won’t Hold

What These Walls Won’t Hold is a film that seeks to document the organizing of people who came together in response to the COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin State Prison, as well as across California prisons, in 2020. The piece explores how relationships– built on trust, shared liberatory struggle, and connections across broader abolitionist organizing work–can unfold into sites of resistance and radical change.