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My choice of twelve female photographers – Jenn Ackerman, Araminta de Clermont, Alyse Emdur, Christiane Feser, Cheryl Hanna-Truscott, Deborah Luster, Britney Anne Majure, Nathalie Mohadjer, Yana Payusova, Julia Rendleman, Marilyn Suriani, and Kristen S. Wilkins – are a eclectic mix of artists with different approaches to photography in sites of incarceration. Among their works you’ll find fine art documentary, found photography, alternative process, painted photographs, collaborative portraiture, dreamy landscape, photojournalist dispatches and social activism.
Some ladies’ work I’ve featured before on Prison Photography; some are relatively new discoveries; others I met during Prison Photography on the Road; and a few are included in the ongoing Cruel and Unusual show at Noorderlicht.
Thanks to WIPNYC co-founders Amy and Cara Phillips for providing an avenue with which to disseminate photography that counters stereotypes and informs audiences of lives behind bars. Thanks also to Megan Charland for formatting the exhibition.
From my curatorial statement
In the past 40 years, America’s prison population has more than quadrupled from under 500,000 to over 2.3 million. This program of mass incarceration is unprecedented in human history. Women have born the brunt of this disastrous growth. Within that fourfold increase, the female prison population has increased eightfold. You heard right: women are incarcerated today at eight times the number they were in the early 1970s. Are women really eight times more dangerous as they were two generations ago?
Please, browse the gallery, bios and linked portfolios.
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
Cheryl Hanna-Truscott is a registered nurse and midwife who attests to the importance of healthy, timely infant-mother attachment. Equally she recognises that the women in her portraits are the beneficiaries of an unfortunately rare approach to motherhood in US sites of incarceration.
Protective Custody: Within a Prison Nursery is a portrait series about pregnant inmates who qualify for The Residential Parenting Program, at Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW). The program began in 1999 allowing selected pregnant inmates with sentences less than thirty months to maintain custody of their babies after giving birth.
I was reminded of Hanna-Truscott’s work today with its inclusion in 100Eyes newest issue Dependence