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Robert King, one of the Angola 3, writes for the Guardian

Photograph: Benjamin Sklar for the Guardian It’s just a brief account of his time in solitary and his time since the overturning of his conviction. 29 years in 24/7 lock-down is a long time for anyone, is it worse for someones who’s innocent? “I didn’t realise how permanently the experience of solitary would mark me. Even now […]

Damon Winter Reflects Upon the Angola rodeo

Too Much Chocolate When Jake Stangel put out a call to interview Damon Winter for Too Much Chocolate I didn’t hesitate. How often do you get to bend the ear of a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer? Jake assured me that Damon was – is – “a super-nice guy” as well. I might argue that Damon […]

Tim McKulka on the Angola Prison Rodeo

Yes folks, a US prison runs a rodeo for the entertainment of the public (from Louisiana and beyond). Believe it. I have only ever discussed this event in terms of is dicey ethics, but being a weak-spined liberal never gone full-throtle in condemning it as exploitation. Matt Kelley and I were both agreed that we […]

Angola Prison Football

“At one time Angola was well known as the bloodiest penitentiary in America. And now you don’t have nearly as much as the violence as you woulda had.” Troy West, Angola Inmate Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate per capita of all US states. over 1,100 per 100,000 – that’s more than 1 in a […]

Damon Winter: Angola Prison Rodeo

The blogo-photo-sphere has been spinning the past couple of days with the 2009 Pulitzer Prize announcements. Damon Winter took one gong for “his memorable array of pictures deftly capturing multiple facets of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.” (Featured Photography). Patrick Farrell secured the other with his “provocative, impeccably composed images of despair after Hurricane Ike and […]

Kim Rushing’s Brief Step Back In Time at Parchman Penitentiary, Mississippi

Hospital lobby. © Kim Rushing – Long before I started writing about prison imagery and before I even set foot in the United States, photographer and educator Kim Rushing was making images of the men at the infamous Parchman Farm, known officially as Mississippi State Penitentiary. Rushing made these photographs and others over a four year […]

What Is the Meaning of Death To a Prisoner Serving Life?

– Louisiana State Penitentiary, known commonly as Angola, is the largest maximum security prison in the United States. Of its 6,300 prisoners, over 85 percent are serving life. This shocking fact is due to Louisiana’s harsh sentencing laws. Activists and reformers who fight against Life Without Parole (LWOP) sentencing refer to life sentences as “death by incarceration”. […]

Are Artists Working On Prison Issues Exploiting Incarcerated People?

“Angola Prison, 2004,” by Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick. – It was gratifying to be mentioned in Sabine Heinlein’s recent NYT article Artists Grapple With America’s Prison System which surveyed the ways artists, curators and thinkers are responding to mass incarceration. The cue for the article, I’m guessing, was the two exhibitions currently on show in NYC–Andrea Fraser […]