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Julia Lish, a correctional officer, comforts an inmate during one his psychotic episodes. “Its going to be OK,” she repeats as he cries and yells to the voices in his head. © Jenn Ackermann

Jenn Ackerman: ‘A Hand to Hold’ (2008) from the series, Trapped.
11×14. B&W, archival matte.
Edition #2 of an edition of 25.
Signed.

Print PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape = $600.

BUY HERE

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It’s still the very early stages of Prison Photography on the Road, my Kickstarter project, and I’m super pleased and humbled by the generosity of folks.

I won’t lie, it’s been a lot of work to co-ordinate all the information among potential interviewees, and the photographers who’ve donated prints, and those practitioners whose will be included in the self published book.

Info on half a dozen prints (available to funders of the project) is still outstanding. No fear, I’ll turn a negative to a positive and feature the photographs and the print info here on the blog as and when it arrives. At the same time, I can make repeated calls for support.

The Minneapolis based wunder-couple Jenn and Tim – a.k.a. Ackerman Gruber Images – were the first photographers to respond to my early inquiries about collaboration. Then there was silence. They’re a little late to the party because they’re down in Brazil on assignment. No worries guys.

I’ve written about Jenn’s series Trapped here on Prison Photography before. Tim and I have played email tag for two years trying to conjure a nice format to discuss his series Served Out.

Below are the prints Jenn and Tim kindly donated. Available on my Kickstarter page.

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The sun breaks through the bars of the Nursing and Hospice Care Unit at the Kentucky State Reformatory, as part of the series ‘Served Out.’ © Tim Gruber

Tim Gruber: ‘Sunset Behind Bars’ (2008).
14×11″ B&W, archival pigment print on matte paper.
Edition #1 of an edition of 25.
Signed.

Print PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape = $500.

BUY HERE

THE BLOG GROWS LEGS

It’s with excited anticipation and a good amount of nerves that I announce the launch of my Kickstarter project Prison Photography on the Road: Stories Behind the Photos.

I propose a 12-week road-trip across America meeting many of the leading photographers who, in the past 40 years, have documented the rise of the U.S. prison industrial complex. I’ll also be speaking with some of the leading practitioners in prison arts, prison education and advocacy.

Interviewees include:

This is a journalism project, the product of which is the approximately 40 interviews I will conduct. They’ll be made available, via Creative Commons license, to any and all in the photo and prison reform communities. In addition, my writings will be free to distribute with attribution to interested parties.

Fundraising begins today and continues for the next 36 days.

Please visit my Kickstarter page to read more about Why, Where, What and How.

INCENTIVES

This Kickstarter is a little different to others as I have secured many generous and talented photographers as collaborators who’ve put forth prints to help me raise money. Huge thanks to all of them.

In that there’s only one item for each of the incentive levels above $200, the thing operates like a “buy now”-priced auction.

The incentives at $10, $20, $50, $75 and $125 are self-explanatory.

On my Kickstarter page, the prints available between $200 and $1,000 have full descriptions. Those same descriptions and the currently available images are below.

Every supporter who buys a print more than $200 in value also gets a postcard, mixtape and self-published photobook Prison Photography in the Era of Mass Incarceration (56 pages).

ALL who donate – at any level – become official supporters and have their names listed on my website and in the acknowledgements of the self-published book.

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CLICK ON ANY IMAGE FOR A LARGER VIEW

JAMEL SHABAZZ

Photographer: Jamel Shabazz
Title: ‘Female Blood’
Year: 1995
Print: 8″x10″ Resin Coated B&W print.
Signed.

Print PLUS a postcard, mixtape (CD) and a self-published book – $600 BUY NOW

FRANK MCMAINS

Photographer: Frank McMains
Title: Untitled #1, from ‘Angola Boxing’ series
Year: 2010
Size: 8″x12″
Print: B/W digital print on archival paper
Signed, uneditioned.

Print PLUS a postcard and a mixtape – $100. BUY NOW.

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STEVE DAVIS

Photographer: Steve Davis
Title: Untitled #1, from ‘Captured Youth’ series
Year: 2005
Size: 8″x10″
Print: Color, heavyweight archival paper
Signed, special edition of 4.

Print PLUS a postcard, a mixtape and a self-published book – going for $300. BUY NOW.

Photographer: Steve Davis
Title: Untitled #2, from ‘Captured Youth’ series
Year: 2005
Size: 8″x10″
Print: Color, heavyweight archival paper
Signed, special edition of 4.

Print PLUS a postcard, a mixtape and a self-published book – going for $300. BUY NOW.

Photographer: Steve Davis
Title: Untitled #3, from ‘Captured Youth’ series
Year: 2005
Size: 8″x10″
Print: Color, heavyweight archival paper
Signed, special edition of 4.

Print PLUS a postcard, a mixtape and a self-published book – going for $300. BUY NOW.

Photographer: Steve Davis
Title: Untitled #4, from ‘Captured Youth’ series
Year: 2005
Size: 8″x10″
Print: Color, heavyweight archival paper
Signed, special edition of 4.

Print PLUS a postcard, a mixtape and a self-published book – going for $300. BUY NOW.

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RICHARD ROSS

Harrison County Juvenile Detention Center in Biloxi, Mississippi operated by Mississippi Security Services, formerly the Biloxi City Jail, Currently run by Director Warden. A fire in 1982 killed 27 inmates. There is currently a lawsuit against them which forced them to reduce their population. They must now maintain an 8:1 inmate to staff ratio. © Richard Ross

Photographer: Richard Ross
Title: ’12-year old at Harrison County’
Year: 2009
Size: 9″x12″
Print: Color, Epson digital print on enhanced matt
Signed

Print PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape = $1,000. BUY HERE

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BRUCE JACKSON

Photographer: Bruce Jackson
Title: ‘Dominoes. Death Row, Texas’
Year: 1979
Size: 12.5″x17″ on 13″x19″ paper
Print: B&W, Ilford Gallerie Gold Fibre Silk Paper.
Edition: #3 of an edition of 20
Signed
From Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian, “In this Timeless Time”: Living and Dying on Death Row in America (University of North Carolina Press, 2011)

Print PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape = $800. BUY HERE

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VICTOR BLUE

Gang members of the Mara 18 help another with his wounds in the El Hoyon prison in Escuintla Guatemala Tuesday August 23, 2005. El Hoyon was the scene of a prison riot the week before in which members of a rival gang, the Mara Salvatrucha, killed 23 members of the Mara 18 using firearms, knives, and handgrenades. © Victor Blue.

Photographer: Victor Blue
Title: ‘Closing a Wound, Mara 18’
Year: 2005
Size: 11″x14″
Print: Color, archival print
Signed
Print PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape = $200. BUY HERE

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LORI WASELCHUK

Mary Bloomer, a prison security guard, watches from the levee as prisoners form Field Line 15 from Wolf Dormitory at Camp C at Angola, Louisiana’s maximum security prison. Angola is a massive top-security prison, occupying flat delta land equal to the size of Manhattan.  Prisoners walk or ride in buses to and from their jobs every day. © Lori Waselchuk

Photographer: Lori Waselchuk
Title: ‘Prison Guard Watches from the Levee, Angola Prison’
Year: 2007
Size: 12″ X 24″
Print: B&W, archival pigment print
Edition: #2 of an edition of 15
Signed
Print PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape = $400. BUY HERE

Lloyd Bone, a prisoner at Louisiana’s State Penitentiary, rides atop a horse driven hearse carrying the body of fellow prisoner George Alexander, who died at the age of 56.  The hearse was hand built by prison carpenters. The elaborate funerals for inmates buried in the prison’s cemetery is an example of how hospice volunteers (with the support of Warden Burl Cain) have created a tone of reverence for the dying and the dead at Angola Prison. © Lori Waselchuk

Photographer: Lori Waselchuk
Title: ‘Lloyd Bone Drives the Funeral Hearse’
Year: 2007
Size: 7″ x 14″
Print: B&W, archival pigment print
Edition: #7 of an edition of 25
Signed
Print PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape. SOLD

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JAN STURMANN

Wards offer each other comfort and support before entering the Sweat Lodge. No blood has ever been spilt in the Sweat Lodge area, and gang rivalries and personal disputes are often resolved during this time. Since 1991 Native American Spiritual Leader Jimi Castillo has conducted this ceremony each Thursday at the Herman G. Stark Youth Correctional  Facility in Chino, CA, east of LA. The ceremony is open to all wards, irrespective of race. © Jan Sturmann

Photographer: Jan Sturmann
Title: ‘Juvenile Prison Sweat Lodge’
Year: 2005
Size: 8″x10″
Print: Color, archival inkjet print
Not editioned
Signed
$50

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ARA OSHAGAN

Photographer: Ara Oshagan
Title: ‘Liz, 21 years old, Chowchilla State Prison, CA, 2003’
Year: 2003
Size: 30″x8″
Print: Color and B&W, archival pigment ink print (Giclee)
Edition #2 of 10
Signed
Print PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape = $400. BUY HERE

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STEPHEN TOURLENTES

Photographer: Stephen Tourlentes
Title: Comstock, NY State Prison
Year: 2009
Print: 11″x14″ B&W, Archival Pigment Print
Aritist’s Proof, Signed

Print PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape = $500 – BUY NOW

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SYE WILLIAMS

Photographer: Sye Williams
Title: ‘The Four’
Year: 2001
Size: 11″x14″
Print: Color
1st edition 2/25
Signed
Print PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape = $900. BUY HERE

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ADAM AMENGUAL

Photographer: Adam Amengual
Title: ‘Adrien Caceres’ from the “Homies” series
Year: 2011
Size: 11″x14″
Print: Color, archival inkjet print
Edition #2 of 10
Signed
Print PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape = $750. BUY HERE

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JENN ACKERMAN

Julia Lish, a correctional officer, comforts an inmate during one his psychotic episodes. “Its going to be OK,” she repeats as he cries and yells to the voices in his head. © Jenn Ackermann

Photographer: Jenn Ackerman
Title: ‘A Hand to Hold’ (2008) from the series, Trapped.
Print: 11×14. B&W, archival matte.
Edition: #2 of an edition of 25.
Signed.

Print PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape = $600. BUY HERE

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TIM GRUBER

The sun breaks through the bars of the Nursing and Hospice Care Unit at the Kentucky State Reformatory, as part of the series ‘Served Out.’ © Tim Gruber

Photographer: Tim Gruber
Title: ‘Sunset Behind Bars’
Year: 2008
Print: 14×11″ B&W, archival pigment print on matte paper.
Edition: #1 of an edition of 25.
Signed.

Print PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape = $500. BUY HERE

MAX WHITTAKER

Any photo from Max Whittaker‘s archive, signed and printed at 11″x17″.

Print PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape = $200. BUY HERE

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ADAM SHEMPER


Photographer: Adam Shemper
Title: ‘In the Wheat Fields, Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola, Louisiana’
Year: 2000
Print: 9″x9″. B&W on archival paper
Signed
Print PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape = $325. BUY HERE

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JON LOWENSTEIN

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 HERE

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MIKHAEL SUBOTZKY

Photographer: Incarcerated student of Mikhael Subotzky
Title: Maplank in the Workshop, Pollsmoor Prison, 2005
Year: 2005
Print: Silver gelatin print on fiber paper, B&W 35x50cm (frame approx 50x65cm)
Edition: # 1/9
Unsigned, framed.

Print, PLUS postcard, mixtape and self=published book = $1,000 – BUY HERE

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Please forward the link to this page and my Kickstarter page to anybody whom you think may be interested in the project and potentially donating. Cheers!

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Here’s a YouTube version of my Kickstarter pitch for those of you who can’t embed from any other video sites (don’t worry the WordPress video upgrade is on its way)

Warehouse District, Fresno, California © Matt Black

Last week, Stan blew the cover on my long held admiration of Matt Black. In the past couple of months, and on three different occasions, when conversation has moved toward photographers’ work that really turns us on I’ve begun explaining Matt’s work only to have the other person blurt out his name. You know that excitement when you’re on the same wavelength? Repeated.

Matt Black also has a great name. What else could he be but a photographer?

Matt’s documentary photography focuses on the social and environmental realities of southern and Central California, and the span of Mexico. Man-made borders need not apply. He’s knee-deep in the regions.

Each of Matt’s portfolios eddies of the last. It’s an admirable body of work. For his latest project, The People of Clouds, Matt has teamed up with Orion Magazine and Daylight Online for a cohesive distribution plan. He has also, for the first time, made use of Kickstarter for a very well-stated funding pitch.

Matt explains:

High in the Mixteca mountains of southern Mexico, an exodus is unfolding.  In the birthplace of corn cultivation, where farmers first coaxed maize from the earth nearly 9,000 years ago, an ancient way of life is crumbling as land degradation and erosion cripple the soil and as migration tears families apart. 

Named the “Place of the Cloud People” by the Aztecs, the Mixteca is home to one of the oldest and largest indigenous cultures in the Americas. Rugged and remote, the isolated region sheltered a pre-Colombian way of life that largely vanished from the rest of Mexico in the aftermath of the conquest.  At its heart, it’s a culture of the land, and corn.  Along the region’s hillsides, it is still possible to glimpse ancient terraces, canals, and runoff channels that protected the Mixteca’s rich but fragile soil, and nourished its inhabitants, for thousands of years.

But today, these ancient farming traditions have been lost, replaced by chemical fertilizers, hybrid seeds, and herbicides, the trifecta of modern agriculture heavily promoted in indigenous communities by the Mexican government and international charities as part of the “Green Revolution” of the 1960s.  When combined with slash and burn farming, the Mixteca’s steep terrain, and the loss of other indigenous soil-preserving traditions like multi-cropping, these imported industrial agricultural techniques have turned Mixtec corn farming, one of the world’s oldest and most perfectly integrated agricultural systems, into a soil-eating machine.

Today, much of the Mixteca has been declared an “Ecological Disaster Zone,” the result of unchecked erosion, deforestation, and soil exhaustion.  Per capita maize consumption is less than ten ounces per day, 90% below US rates, and fewer than a third of children under the age of five show normal growth by weight and height.  Ranked on the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI), the Mixteca’s poverty is deeper than nearly all of Latin America’s, comparable only to areas of Africa, India, and the Gaza Strip.  Far from sparking a Green Revolution, the industrial farming techniques prescribed to the Mixtecs have resulted in their becoming unable to even keep themselves fed.

Nearly a quarter million Mixtecs have emigrated to the US.   Some villages have lost as much as 80% of their population and have become little more than ghost towns.  “I only think about dying,” one elderly man told me.  “My only worry is how my funeral will be.”

Please consider helping Matt continue The People of Clouds.

 

©Aaron Huey Source: http://www.emphas.is/home.html

PREAMBLE

I just watched a great independent documentary about PsychOps and their widespread use in consumer propaganda. It is no surprise that empire is built on  mind-plays upon the populace with regard their daily choices as it is on the mind-plays upon the same populace to sell its military invasions and murder during time of war invasion & occupation in foreign lands.

MEDIA & CONTROL

It’s still too early in the new media game to see if power really can be wrenched from big media – partakers in the psych-ops – and put into hands of the little guys. (And, this is not to suggest that the little guys will make better decisions, but it’d be a shift for sure). But, in terms of media and the stories we want told, can we imagine a media landscape over which we have more control?

We can feed photojournalism directly, if we only imagine ourselves as being in power.

Two tools have come to light this past week which seem feasible.

The first, Flattr, is a web-app which allows the user/recipient (note, I shied from the term ‘consumer’!) to express instant gratitude and give money to the producer of content. Flattr is built into the infrastructure of the web and applies to any and all content, not just photographer and not just journalism.

The second, Emphas.is, pertains specifically to photojournalism. If we are sick of celebrity pap filling our screens should we not be chomping at the bit for a model of production/consumption that is advertisement free and hands us some agency?

WHERE TO PLACE THE EMPHAS.IS

Emphas.is is well aware of the success of the crowd-funded model in other areas of journalism. It seems, in my opinion, to be modeling itself on Spot.Us, progressing the format and making specific its use. I know that the widespread incorporation of the platform – and even the code of the site! – were things that Spot.Us founder Dave Cohn had in mind from the start. Adopt and fine-tune for the benefit of crowd-funded media.

Spot.Us was open to photojournalist pitches, but the platform diluted the impact of PJ work amidst all its other journalistic efforts. It seems like the photo-community would be more secure if it knew it had a place to call its own. In Emphas.is it now does.

Also, in its early stages, Spot.Us necessarily focused regionally, sprouting steadily across US metropolitan regions. Emphas.is looks to have a more global view – which is only right; times and expectations of new media have changed, grown up.

Kickstarter too has served many photographers well, but its reach is even wider than Spot.Us serving mainly creatives.

So, for me at least, Emphas.is seems to fall between Spot.Us and Kickstarter

Emphas.is has an impressive list of endorsements from photo-editors and photographers (Philip Blenkinsop, Carolyn Drake, Jan Grarup, Michael Kamber, Teru Kuwayama, Dominic Nahr, Jerome Sessini, Anthony Suau, Tomas van Houtryve, Kadir van Lohuizen).

Emphas.is is the brainchild of photo editor Tina Ahrens and photojournalist Karim Ben Khelifa.

Emphas.is is set to launch early 2011. I think we should start saving our pennies for the first round of pitches.

EMAIL

prisonphotography [at] gmail [dot] com

@BROOKPETE ON TWITTER

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