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Boreal Bash 2015 kicks off on Friday is to include “photographers working around the world who will discuss some of their most personal projects and the process they have gone through to conceive of and produce their work.” The event is focusing on photography collectives, members’ “perspectives on working collectively toward a more cooperative future in our community.”

On Saturday, I’ll be moderating a discussion with members of Boreal Collective, guest collectives MJR and Prime, and Dustin Drankowski Below is the full roster of speakers.

All talks will be at Tranzac Club, at 292 Brunswick Avenue, Toronto.

SATURDAY (6-9pm)

Mauricio Palos (6pm): Boreal Collective’s Palos will open our Bash speakers series with a memorial for Ruben Espinosa, featuring his photographs, and then will share some of his own work from Mexico.

Émilie Régnier (6:55pm): Emilie Regenier, a Montreal-born photographer, will discuss the evolution of her work on identity in African communities.

Panel (7:55pm): Writer and curator Pete Brook will moderate a discussion about collectivism, cooperation and community in the photo industry with’s Photo Director Dustin Drankowski, members of Boreal Collective,’s Photo Editor Noah Rabinowitz from MJR and Lance Rosenfield from Prime Collective.

SUNDAY (5-8pm)

Dominic Nahr (5pm): Nahr will present his work from Fukushima, Japan and discuss why he is continuing to follow the story even when he is not on assignment.

Brendan Hoffman (5:45pm): Prime Collective’s Brendan Hoffman, an American photographer based in Kiev, will present his work from Ukraine, where he has been covering the unfolding events for more than a year.

Brandon Thibodeaux (Sunday, 6:35pm): Brandon Thibodeaux from MJR will discuss his long term projects from his home in the American South.

Matt Lutton (Sunday, 7:25pm): Lutton, a Boreal Collective photographer who was based in Belgrade, Serbia for more than six years, will present his projects from The Balkans and his experiences as a foreign correspondent.

For speaker bios and more information on the Boreal Bash, click here.


Image: Uros Popovic lights his cigarette from the embers of a Christmas Eve bonfire near Velika Hoca, Kosovo. January 2011. © Matt Lutton.


Horrifying stuff happening in UK immigration detention centers:

“Five children have been found in the notorious Yarl’s Wood detention centre since the start of the year, the Bureau has established. Other figures released by the Refugee Council today show at least 127 minors have been found classified as adults in UK detention since 2010.”

Originally posted on Maeve McClenaghan:

Protest at Yarl’s Wood detention centre, June 2015 (Credit: Wasi Daniju)

Children fleeing the horrors of war in countries such as Syria and Afghanistan are being wrongly classified as over-18 and locked up by immigration officers in adult detention centres in breach of Government policies and legal guidelines.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has found that UK border and asylum officers are sending teenagers as young as 14 straight to adult detention centres despite clear evidence they are children and without referring their cases to social services, as guidelines dictate in such circumstances.

Five children have been found in the notorious Yarl’s Wood detention centre since the start of the year, the Bureau has established. Other figures released by the Refugee Council today show at least 127 minors have been found classified as adults in UK detention since 2010.

In May that year then deputy prime minister Nick Clegg announced…

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Oklahoma State Prison Rodeo. McAlester, Oklahoma.

In my last post I mentioned the ubiquity of photographs of the Angola Prison Rodeo. Well, there’s another of these gladiatorial spectacles. It’s at Oklahoma State Prison in McAlester. And my friend Sol Neelman went there once.

Sol writes:

I remember sitting on a chair, trying to clear my head and thinking: “It’s a Friday night and I’m in Oklahoma at a prison rodeo. And I just got hit by a horse. WHAT?”

Yeah. Hit by a horse.

I was on the rodeo ground taking photos with a wide lens when I turned around and spotted two horses galloping right at me. One was out of control and a rider was trying to reign him in. I got caught in between the two. It happened fast. I remember thinking: “Uh-oh.” And that’s it. Total silence. Then I remember hearing (not seeing) someone talking to me, telling me I was alright and to have a seat in a chair.

The next day at the rodeo, everyone was asking me how I was doing. “You OK? I bet you’re sore!” I guess I had made a scene. Aside from my concussion, I had a small bruise on my right leg, where the horse had likely nailed me with his head. And yes, a sore, sore back.

Overall, I was very lucky. And I’ve been in wild situations like that all the time, one reason why I never feel fear or panic. I’m used to being in the middle of insanity. Plus, I’ve never had an accident: not in a car, not for work, and not by the hand, er, head of a bucking bronco.

While sitting in that chair, I kept thinking: Is this worth it? Is what I’m doing worth risking my health for?

Thing is, I know nothing else. I love so much what I do.


Two years on from the culmination of the California Hunger Strike (and without adequate response from the state) let’s consider what is at stake. These photos. These spaces.

Originally posted on California Prison Watch:

We received these photos and the descriptions from Alice Lynd, a supporter, friend and comrade in the fight against injustices. Thank you Alice and Todd:

Dear Supporters of prisoners in security housing units:
I have scanned and attached five photographs that were taken of Todd Ashker’s cell in the SHU at Pelican Bay State Prison, Short Corridor, in July 2007. Todd asked us to share them with whoever is interested.

Todd Ashker has been in a Security Housing Unit (SHU) for more than 25 years, since August 1986, and in the Pelican Bay SHU nearly 22 years, since May 2, 1990. The following is his description of the attached photographs.

#1 Front view of cell D1-119. The locked tray slot is where I get my food trays, mail, etc.

#2 View from approximately one step inside cell door area. View if of the 2 cement slab bunks. Note, back concrete…

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“Kalief Browder may have hung himself, but he was killed by the brokenness of our court system.” This is an important reflection by Raj Jayadev.

Originally posted on Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project:

by Raj Jayadev (This piece originally ran in the Huffington Post)

09browder-facebookjumbo-v2_large Kalief Browder

To call the death of 22-year-old Kalief Browder a suicide is not the full truth. Kalief Browder may have hung himself, but he was killed by the brokenness of our court system.

The story of his short life, told by Jennifer Gonnerman in The New Yorker last year, chronicles the horrors of a 16-year-old who was charged for a stealing a backpack, sent to the isolation and brutality of Rikers Island prison for three years, only for the charge to eventually be dropped by the prosecutor. Follow up articles report that Kalief was so profoundly haunted from his mental and physical abuse inside that upon his release, he was hospitalized and told his mother, “I can’t take it anymore.” Ultimately, he hung himself with an air-conditioner cord at his home this June.

The ubiquity of his…

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I’m one of the critically massive pool of jurors for this years Critical Mass. I take bribes like FIFA.

The 4-week Robert Rauschenberg Foundation sounds sick!

The blurb:

Registration is now open for Photolucida’s Critical Mass competition! Awards include a monograph prize, a solo exhibition at Blue Sky Gallery, a group exhibition juried by Alison Nordström, and a prestigious four-week artist’s residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s Captiva Island estate.

Registration deadline is July 28th

Image: Brandon Thibodeaux, Maw Maw’s New Braids, Duncan, MS 2009. (Source)

FAN_scans_white_background FAN_scans_white_background4 FAN_scans_white_background5 FAN_scans_white_background9 FAN_scans_white_background13

“I made these pictures while employed as an English tutor to one of China’s most celebrated actresses, Fan Bingbing. The job took me all over China, to Macau and Hong Kong and Bangkok, travelling with the starlet and her entourage of assistants and sycophants. We stayed in luxury hotels, dined with media moguls and raced with police escort to single-song performances at soccer stadiums (Ms. Fan is also a noted pop singer). The opulence and spectacle of fame were shocking, but without a frame of reference her renown meant little to me. I came to recognize celebrity as the sum of its parts—an elaborate reality masking as humble performance.” — Rian Dundon

FAN, a book by Rian Dundon

Essays by Jonathan Landreth and Erik Be

Design by Modes Works

5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White Bleed on White paper
208 pages
ISBN-13: 978-9187829260 / 9187829266


jUNE 9 2015 BOS

It’s always nice to be able to applaud politicians who make good decisions and I think it is important to pause and acknowledge when they do so.

From Californians United for a Responsible Budget


Today, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 2 in favor of halting the proposed $2 billion jail plan, including a women’s jail and the “Consolidated Correctional Treatment Facility” in lieu of an independent analysis of what alternatives to treatment exist in Los Angeles County. Californians United for a Responsible Budget supports this motion and all efforts to prioritize alternatives.

“We commend the Supervisors for approving this game changing motion,” said Mark-Anthony Johnson of Dignity and Power Now. “We support Supervisor Kuehl in halting the Sheriff’s $2 billion jail plan. Expanding custody operations in a system where Black and Brown people with mental health conditions are more likely to be targets of sheriff violence undermines the growing momentum for diversion and alternatives to incarceration. The violence of lockup, especially against those with mental health conditions, cannot be fixed by building more. What will keep people safe is diversion from the jails and we are filled with hope by the leadership presented to assess what community based services are available in our community.”

The motion, introduced by Supervisor Kuehl and supported by Supervisors Solis and Ridley-Thomas, was applauded by about 100 community members who came out to oppose the notion that effective mental health treatment can take place in a jail facility.

“We are pleasantly surprised by the move by our Supervisors to halt the entire jail plan, especially the women’s jail,” said Diana Zuñiga of Californians United for a Responsible Budget. “The push to assess the community based services already in place is something long overdue for Angelenos. We hope that we not only assess what is out there, but leave room to envision what services can be expanded in our community instead of more jails. People need quality treatment, supportive housing, employment opportunities and sustained connection with their children in their communities, not another jail.”

Organizations, community members, and formerly incarcerated people pushed for concrete projections and benchmarks on how the District Attorney’s comprehensive diversion plan, split sentencing, risk-based pre-trial release, and proposition 47 will reduce the jail population.

“This is the time to move funding from the proposed jail plan to community based services that need these billions of dollars to keep people out of lockup,” stated Mary Sutton of Los Angeles No More Jails. “We are happy about this motion by the Board and hope to work with them to re-direct 50% of realignment dollars to community based organizations instead of in the pockets of law enforcement.”


Diana Zuniga — (213) 864-8931, Californians United for a Responsible Budget

Mark-Anthony Johnson – (818) 259-1322, Dignity and Power Now


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