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I’m intrigued by Nathalie Mohadjer‘s project Zwei Bier Für Haiti. I hope you will be too. First, you’ll need to get past the idea that Zwei Bier Für Haiti is about, or in benefit for, Haiti. It is, in fact, a body of work about the residents of a homeless shelter in Weimar, Germany. Mohadjer made the images between 2006 and 2010. She explains the title:
“When an earthquake shook Haiti in January 2010, Margitta, one of the inhabitants, started a fund-raising campaign among her neighbors in the homeless shelter, which she called “Two Beers for Haiti.” The idea was for every resident to drink two beers less a day. She collected a total of 15 euros.”
I’m always intrigued by long-term photo studies of institutions on the margins and those within them – Peter Hoffman’s Bryan House and Maja Daniel’s Into Oblivion are two top-notch examples. Mohadjer’s Zwei Bier Für Haiti/Two Beers For Haiti fires the same visual intrigues. Good stuff.
Mohadjer has nine days left on her crowdfunding effort for the book. It’ll be published by Kehrer Verlag regardless but every penny donated will be a penny less out of her pocket. See the crowdfunding page here and the video-pitch on vimeo here.
Works by Nathalie go on show today at the Museum Sala Galatea, Cordoba, Spain (January 16 – February 24, 2013) and works from Zwei Bier Für Haiti go on show at the Heussenstamm Gallery Frankfurt, Germany for the Abisag Tüllmann Prize Exhibition (February 19 -Mars 15, 2013).
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.