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Whether the timing was deliberate or accidental, I like that an interview with me about loneliness was published on Valentines Day.
The new website This On That interviews photo people about non-photo things. I was quizzed about solitude, forced isolation, the PCT and other things. Thanks to Barney and Matt for the questions. Here’s my answer to the ninth question of thirteen:
Who is/was the loneliest person you met doing your prisons project? Can anything be done to help him/her?
Not for me to say. Prisons are toxic and they degrade the spirit of any one who is inside.
That said, I’ve met some incredibly lonely people who are locked up but they know they only have themselves to rely on and in spite of the system, hold it together and do immense good. I’ve seen prisoners mentor, educate and counsel other prisoners. They do so because they feel and live the isolation. Incredibly, they can contain that struggle and frustration and turn it into something powerful and good and community-building. I’m thinking here of prisoners who teach remedial math, Spanish, life skills and coping strategies to other, usually younger, prisoners.