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Artist’s impression of projected cellphone imagery.

ART

Stop, a video installation will put faces to the numbers – hundreds of thousands – of people who are unjustly detained by police.

Stop is proposed by New York based Dread Scott and by Joann Kushner, an artist working in Liverpool, UK. As described by Dread Scott:

Stop will be a projection of portraits of several youth from East New York, Brooklyn and Liverpool, UK. Brooklyn will be on one wall and Liverpool will face them on the other. The life-sized projections will stand and face each other, the audience will be in the middle. Over time, each of the young adults will reveal how many times they have each been stopped by the police during their lifetime. The youth will be having a virtual “conversation” across an ocean with each other as well as with the audience.”

PHOTO

Yesterday, I posted a long conversation with Nina Berman about Stop & Frisk. Berman had not found any other fellow photographers working on the issue of Stop & Frisk. I found one other photographer (who’s work is ongoing and wishes not to publicize it yet) and one artist – Dread Scott.

Dread’s a lovely guy; I’ve written about his work on the prison industrial complex before and I interviewed him last year during PPOTR. Here’s what he says about this Stop & Frisk and this project:

“Last year, New York police stopped almost 700,000 people as part of their “Stop and Frisk” policy. The overwhelming majority, about 90%, were doing nothing wrong at the time and were completely innocent. Most were young and Black or Latino. A similar policy exists in Liverpool and developed after NY police chief William Bratton was invited to be a consultant in another UK city, Hartlepool, in 1996.”

It should be added that UK Prime Minister David Cameron wanted to appoint Bratton as Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police Service following the London Riots of August 2011. Cameron was later overruled by Home Secretary Theresa May, who insisted that only a British citizen should be able to run the Service.

Dread has led photography and art workshops with young adults from East NY Brooklyn (a neighborhood with one of the city’s highest police Stop and Frisk rates) and Joann has been working with similar youth in Liverpool. Using cell phones, students have made a powerful series of photographs about their neighborhoods and lives.

Stop will be exhibited in Rush Arts Gallery, NYC from September 13th, 2012.

START KICKING

Kickstarter has definitely reached its saturation point; The Onion’s take made me laugh hardest.

But you don’t even need to feel guilty about this one; Dread’s already reached his target (sure, he’d like a little extra: who doesn’t?)

What’s more important is the message of his work. Until now, I’ve never seen connections made between the US and the UK – between New York and Liverpool – over the Stop & Frisk issue. The issue is rarely framed within the context of youth; we don’t think of the victims as kids … but in many cases they are.

Stop & Frisk is a canary issue. How the controversy resolves itself will be an indication of whether we have progressed; if we are interested and involved in the welfare of others, or if we remain indifferent. It’s driven by Homeland Security dollars and it messes with peoples’ lives. It’s born out of a divided society, just as prisons were. Now the heavy-handed response is on peoples’ doorsteps.

If you are in Liverpool over the next couple of months, then you should drop in to any number of the exhibits put by LOOK2011 the inaugural Liverpool Photography Festival.

The theme for the festival is “Is Seeing Believing?” Of particular interest is Confined at the Bluecoat.

Confined is an exploration of the idea of confinement in contemporary life by photographers Juergen Chill, Edmund Clark, John Darwell, Dornith Doherty, Ben Graville, David Maisel and David Moore. Subjects range from imprisonment and detention, the ethical treatment of animals, ecological conservation and the history of psychiatric care.

I have a personal involvement in the show. Exhibitions curator Sara-Jayne Parsons asked me to pen some words for the Confined catalogue. And, after interviewing David Moore about his Paddington Green Police Station series I encouraged him to contact Parsons and together they decided to exhibit the prints. It will be the first time Moore has publicly shown his Paddington Green Police Station photographs.

Unfortunately, I won’t be making it over to the UK soon, but I hope those of you who are in Blighty make it to the exhibition, not to mention all the other LOOK2011 exhibits, lectures and workshops.

Confined is on show at the Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BX, from Fri, 13 May 2011 – Sun, 10 Jul 2011, 10.00 AM – 6.00 PM, Tickets: Free. (Visitor info)

Sister Marina, Walton Prison. Copyright Liverpool Daily Post and Echo

About the photo: “I photographed Sister Marina visiting Walton Prison. Her smile and compassion were for all – she was there to comfort those who needed her faith, solace, prayers and hope.” Source.

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Stephen Shakeshaft is subject of a retrospective at the National Conservation Centre in Liverpool, England. Having photographed The Beatles, street urchins, dock-workers, Cilla Black’s mum, the Toxteth Riots, Willy Russell, Liverpool F.C. in European glory and the tragedy of the Hillsborough aftermath, Shakeshaft is knee-deep in the love, lore and history of the Merseyside region.

I’d argue Shakeshaft is to Liverpool as Anthony Friedkin is to California.

Shakeshaft started his career as a copy boy in 1962, running typed stories from the sub-editors’ desk to the print room for the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo. Later he was accepted as an apprentice, learning his trade and his art. He rose to become chief photographer and picture editor of both papers.

Kenny Daglish in bed with the European Cup. Copyright: Stephen Shakeshaft/ Liverpool Daily Post & Echo.

Celebrations after Liverpool won the European Cup Final in Rome, 1977. Copyright Liverpool Daily Post and Echo

All the information from the Liverpool Museum’s blog, associated videos from the exhibition and podcast.

Media articles and photos here, here, here and here.

© Stephen Shakeshaft

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