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Everybody in Portland knows about the recent closure of Newspace Center for Photography. Those beyond the city might not, but they can imagine the damage to the photo community when one of the last accessible darkrooms for film shuttered almost overnight. A hole was left.

I was very fond of Newspace. I’m not a photographer so never used its darkroom facilities but its active lecture series and artist-in-residence program brought many great practitioners to town. It was also the final venue for Prison Obscura in Spring 2016. (Installation shots). I’ve fond memories of the staff, support, volunteers, openings and exhibitions at Newspace. A hole was left.

There’s a larger backstory to the saga, some raw emotions and accusations that better board planning could’ve averted the disaster. But instead of focusing on ‘What if’ or ‘What might have been’ a core group of photo-geeks sunk their efforts, cash and hope into creating a replacement. They showed up at Newspace’s fire-sale of equipment, snagged as much as they could and loaded it onto a flotilla of trucks. They’ve built out a brand spanking new darkroom and are ready for business. Introducing The Portland Darkroom.

 

The Portland Darkroom wants to keep film photography alive and accessible. Rose City needs this resource. They’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the first year of operations and get them off to a running start.

I can’t wait to get in the space and meet the photo-peeps who’ve made this happen. Who knows, maybe I’ll resurrect the Eye On PDX series I did with Blake Andrews 2012-2014 to celebrate, and ask questions of, our local image-makers?

Head over to The Portland Darkroom website and sign up for updates. Place some money in the pot. Go on! In return for your support, there’s prints, workshops, stickers, postcards and oodles of thanks from the founders. Head over to The Portland Darkroom Kickstarter page and check out the perks.

 

 

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In the final two days of fundraising, Echoes Of Incarceration is a long term project that helps children of incarcerated parents to make documentary films about the effects of America’s prison industrial complex — on society, on us, on families, on communities, and mostly on children without one or both parents behind bars.

There are an estimated 2.7 million children in America with one or both parents in prison or jail. Mass incarceration has created fundamental weaknesses in society. Mass incarceration as easily impacts individuals as it does vulnerable groups (the poor, the under-educated, the discriminated against) and often we perceive the effects as lasting only years, or being contained within the experience of one identified moment, lifetime or geographical space. We neglect to recognise that mass incarceration is piling pressures on top of problems on top of expectations on top of America’s young, developing citizens.

We live in a society in which vast numbers of youth must negotiate formative years without parental support. The prison industrial complex has burdened our youth with an almost inconceivable set of problems that they did not ask for, and they do not deserve.

Echoes Of Incarceration brings much needed scrutiny to the issue of mass incarceration and crucially it does it through the lens of the innocent people who have inherited a broken, brutalising system we made. Their latest productions deal specifically with the Bill of Rights of Children with Incarcerated Parents.

Please, fund this important project.

Below is a 2009 production made by Echoes Of Incarceration

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FERGUSON, THE ZINE

David Butow is raising cash on Kickstarter to fund the printing of a zine of his images made in Ferguson over the past 3 months. The images have been made, the edit done and the sequencing finalised. I’ve seen a PDF of Ferguson and it is a zine that is taut and emotional. It is also quite different from other projects I’ve seen coming out of Ferguson. Many of the scenes framed by Butow have multiple vignettes playing out in them all at once. They’re considered and crafted images. It’s both a photographers’ photography project and a statement relevant to all. It works as art and as political marker. It is relevant to documentarians and also, I think, will stand up to the test of time. Butow travelled to Ferguson twice — once after Michael Brown’s death and once after the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson. As well as 34 photographs, Ferguson also includes raw interview transcripts used in the grand jury deliberations. One offers a nuanced view of the neighborhood where the shooting took place and of Michael Brown himself. “The work goes beyond the violence to offer an intimate and emotional portrait of the community’s reaction – from conflict to prayer – and puts the meaning of what occurred in Ferguson in historical context,” says Butow. 1

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FUNDRAISING, KICKSTARTING

Please consider backing this timely, no-nonsense, self-starting publication. Printed in California, using recycled paper and inks. 64 pages, 34 original B&W photographs. 8.5″ x 11″

I’ve never seen a photo festival try to Kickstart operations costs, but Photoville seems to be breaking conventions at will.

I’ve been reluctant to plug Photoville’s Kickstarter because it seems weird to raise cash that goes into the bigger pot of cash for a festival that is happening anyway.

I also have an ambivalent relationship to Kickstarter, despite my own personal massive benefit from the platform. Add to that fact, that Photoville is exhibiting my co-curated show Cruel and Unusual, you can confidently peg me in the “conflicted and making-no-sense” hole.

I hope you and Photoville appreciate my honesty, here. I think Sam and the team at Photoville will because they’ve been positive, rays of sunshine throughout the organisation of Cruel and Unusual. I think we’re solid.

Enough confessional.

You’ve got six hours to throw your money in the big pot.

Undocumented Mexican Immigrants, Tent City © Jon Lowenstein

CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW

Photographer and NOOR Images co-founder Jon Lowenstein has offered a print at the $1,000 level for the one lucky person who donates to my Kickstarter campaign, Prison Photography on the Road.

It’s an image from Sheriff Joe Arpaio infamous “Tent City” in Maricopa County Arizona. I’ve commented on this facility before (here and here) and across the political spectrum this facility has been questioned or condemned as deplorable. Here’s my best round of information on immigration prisons.

As early as 1997, Amnesty International published a report on Arpaio’s jails which found that Tent City is “not an adequate or humane alternative to housing inmates in suitable . . . jail facilities.” And as recently as 2009, Tent City has been criticized by groups contending that there are violations of human and constitutional rights.

Photographer: Jon Lowenstein.
Title: Undocumented Mexican Immigrants – Tent City.
Year: 2009.
Print: 11″x 14″ coloor print, on Hannemuehle archival paper.
Signed.

Print, PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape. – $1,000 – BUY NOW

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VISUALS

Bag News Salon : Jon Lowenstein’s Haiti

Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography Jon Lowenstein, September, 2007

BIOGRAPHY

Lowenstein specializes in long-term, in-depth, documentary photographic projects which question the status quo. He believes in documentary photojournalism’s ability to affect social change. He studied at the Universidad del Pais Vasco San Sebastian, Spain, and is a graduate of the University of Iowa and Columbia College. He was a staff photographer at newspapers including The Arizona Republic.

In December 1999, Lowenstein was chosen as one of eight staff photographers for the CITY 2000 (Chicago In The Year 2000) project. For more than three years, Lowenstein taught photography to middle-school students at Paul Revere Elementary School and helps publish Our Streets, a community newspaper documenting the nearby South Side Chicago community.

Lowenstein is a 2011 TED Global Fellow.

In 2011, he got awarded a John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in the field of Photography. In 2008 he was named the Joseph P. Albright Fellow by the Alicia Patterson Foundation and also won a 2007 Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography. He also won a 2007 World Press Award and was named as a USC Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism Racial Justice Fellowship.  He won the 2005 NPPA New America Award, a 2004 World Press photo prize, 2003 Nikon Sabbatical Grant, the 58th National Press Photographer’s Pictures of the Year Magazine Photographer of the Year Award and Fuji Community Awareness Award. He participated in the Open Society Institute’s Moving Walls Exhibitions from 2002 through 2005.

Another day, another Kickstarter incentive to peddle.

Frank McMains‘ B&W digital print on archival paper (8″x12″) is available at the $100 funding level. And I’ll throw in a postcard from the road and the PPOTR mixtape (CD). BUY NOW.

You can read more about Frank and the AABA in Exclusive: Photos of the Angola Amateur Boxing Association, Louisiana State Penitentiary, previously on Prison Photography.

Visit Frank’s website Lemons and Beans to read more about his time photographing the AABA.

Untitled #1, by Steve Davis. From his ‘Captured Youth’ series. 8×10 on a 10×12 heavyweight archival paper, for $300. Signed. Special Edition of 4.

Steve Davis is an old buddy. I shouldn’t have been surprised he quadrupled-down on the generosity. He’s kindly offered a selection of prints to sell in order to raise money for my Prison Photography on the Road Kickstarter project.

Our conversation went something like this:

Pete: I didn’t want to ask, because I don’t want to interview you. You’ve answered everything I can think to ask. I mean we could talk about photography non-stop, but about prisons … (tails off)

Steve: What do you need?

Pete: Well, ideally some mid-level incentives, something around $300.

Steve: No problem, I’ll find some images, probably a couple that have not been seen before. We’ll print them small in a special edition of four, four of each, that way you can offer “a choice of one from four”.

Pete: Thanks Steve.

Steve: No problem.

Pete: No, really, thanks Steve.

Steve: No, really, no problem Pete.

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A Steve Davis print PLUS a postcard, a mixtape and a self-published book – going for $300. BUY NOW.

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CLICK ON IMAGES FOR LARGER VIEW

Untitled #2, by Steve Davis. From his ‘Captured Youth’ series. 8×10 on a 10×12 heavyweight archival paper. Signed. Special Edition of 4.

Untitled #3, by Steve Davis. From his ‘Captured Youth’ series. 8×10 on a 10×12 heavyweight archival paper. Signed. Special Edition of 4.

Untitled #4, by Steve Davis. From his ‘Captured Youth’ series. 8×10 on a 10×12 heavyweight archival paper. Signed. Special Edition of 4.

A Steve Davis print PLUS a postcard, a mixtape and a self-published book – going for $300. BUY NOW.

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See all available prints as part of my Kickstarter fundraising campaign.

IT has been going for 5 days now and I am floored to type (almost make real) the fact $2,000 has been pledged to my blogging-road-interview-trip-extravaganza.

Erica McDonald has inserted my talking head front, top and centre (at least for a few more days) of the rapidly growing DEVELOPphoto YouTube Channel.

Julie Grahame, a.k.a. aCurator says, “This is an important project that deserves your backing if you are in any way concerned about or interested in the business of incarceration in the United States.”

Meanwhile, with typical meandering, meaningful context, Hester Keijser over at Mrs. Deane ties my project, and all those like it, to the need to realign the priorities (and associated funding and opportunities available) in capitalist society, “Pho­tog­ra­phers or artists who refuse to side with who is on either side of what­ever divide have a hard time find­ing pri­vate spon­sors, pre­cisely because there are very few indi­vid­u­als of wealth and power who are capa­ble of the gusto needed for fund­ing such under­tak­ings, and who can afford to be disinterested. This might be one of the rea­sons why micro-funding mod­els like the US-based Kick­starter are so impor­tant.”

It means so much to get support, words of encouragement and validation during this nerve racking five weeks of fundraising. If you want to get in on the public show of love, please visit the ‘Prison Photography’ on the Road: Stories Behind the Photos Kickstarter page.

EMAIL

prisonphotography [at] gmail [dot] com

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