8,000 miles across America, interviewing photographers and prison experts who've documented and witnessed the era of mass incarceration
'Prison Photography' on the Road is a journalism project. I will conduct over 40 audio interviews, publish them online and make them available to the prison reform and photography communities free of charge via Creative Commons licensing. My writing during the trip will also be CC licensed. I'm doing the legwork so others can enjoy the ride and use the results.
'Prison Photography on the Road' by Pete Brook is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
'Prison Photography' on the Road is about photography. I'll be meeting the most creative and celebrated photographers who, through their work in prisons, have shaped America's visual culture and the debate on U.S. criminal justice.
- Jenn Ackerman, award winning photographer for Trapped
- Adam Amengual, commercial and documentary photographer
- Victor Blue, seasoned photojournalist specialising in social and political story telling
- Lloyd Degrane, commercial and documentary prisons, known for his series Prison
- Amy Elkins, fine art photographer working on collaborative project with death row prisoners
- Harvey Finkle, social documentary photographer
- Tim Gruber, fine art and documentary photographer known for his series Served Out
- Bruce Jackson, photographer and SUNY James Agee Professor of American Culture
- Lou Jones, known for his death row portraits
- Brenda Ann Kenneally, documentary photographer who focuses on women families and marginalised communities
- Sean Kernan, documentary photographer of the series In Prison
- Jon Lowenstein, NOOR member and award winning photojournalist
- Deborah Luster, fine art photographer
- Danny Lyon, pioneering documentary photographer
- Frank McMains, photographer of multiple prison stories in Louisiana
- Ara Oshagan, award winning documentary photographer known for Juvies
- Mona Reeder, Dallas Morning News photojournalist, Robert F. Kennedy Award and Hillman Prize for Photojournalism winner
- Joseph Rodriguez, documentary photographer, social activist, ICP instructor
- Richard Ross, Guggenheim recipient and photographer
- Jamel Shabazz, photographer, teacher, retired prison guard
- Adam Shemper, psychotherapist and photographer
- Jan Sturmann, documentary photographer
- Stephen Tourlentes, professor and fine art photographer
- Lori Waselchuk, documentary photographer
- Max Whittaker, photojournalist and Prime Collective founder
- Sye Williams,commercial photographer and gadfly
- Taro Yamasaki, Pulitzer prize winner for photojournalism
'Prison Photography' on the Road is about prisons. I'll be meeting some of the leading thinkers in prison arts, prison education, law and advocacy. Including, Rebecca Ginsburg of the Educational Justice Project, representatives of the Southern Poverty Law Center, folk at The Innocence Project and those working with juveniles and for re-entry programmes. I hope desperately to talk to Department of Corrections officials in some of the larger States.
'Prison Photography' on the Road is about education. I'll deliver the lecture 'American Prisons: Photography in the Era of Mass Incarceration' to half a dozen colleges. Through the people I meet on the road, I hope to access prisons and jails to deliver the same material.
U.S. prisons are under incredible pressures from all sides. Politicians have continually used tough on crime rhetoric to win votes, but longer sentences and the correctional philosophy of "incapacitation" has bloated prisons and not reduced rates of recidivism (which in the U.S. are higher than those of other countries). Prison education budgets have been slashed and felon disenfranchisement laws often place a released prisoner in a worse position to succeed than when they went in. Some public are fearful, some are in the dark, but either way their tax dollars are at work to continue inefficient practices.
- The U.S. prison population has quadrupled in the past 35 years.
- Today, 1 in every 100 U.S. adults is imprisoned.
- At 2.3 million individuals incarcerated, the U.S. imprisons people at a rate six times that of the next most punitive Western nation, the United Kingdom
- Women have suffered proportionally the most, with a near eight-fold increase in U.S. the number of U.S. female prisoners in the past 35 years.
- The U.S. prison system disproportionately punishes poor people and minority groups.
Only the current economic crisis has brought about serious scrutiny of prison spending. Moves toward more sensible and effective non-custodial sentences as well as early release for non-violent or geriatric prisoners are steps in the right direction.
Now is a good moment to take stock, think about our culture and how it's policies may move toward social justice imperatives.
San Francisco, Oakland, Salt Lake City, Denver, Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Rochester, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Charlottesville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Montgomery, Jackson, New Orleans, Houston, Austin, Dallas, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Flagstaff, Phoenix, Los Angeles ... and places in between.
Funds will be used to buy gas for 8,000 miles (I've got a small car with good MPG) and food for 12 weeks (I am not a picky eater, nor do I have expensive tastes!), an audio recorder (I already have the microphone), three oil changes and a few road tolls.
Between now and the new year, I'll be working diligently to connect with non-profit organisations who can benefit from using the material created. The project may last 12 weeks, but the long-tail of content will be used in perpetuity.
Note on Kickstarter incentives: The incentives at $10, $20, $50, $75 and $125 are self-explanatory. The prints available between $200 and $1,000 have full descriptions and some of the photographs are displayed below.
To SEE the full list of photographs with details please click http://prisonphotography.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/kickstarter-prison-photography-on-the-road/.
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.
PRINTS OFFERED AS FUNDER INCENTIVES
Selected images to whet the appetite. To SEE the full list of photographs please click here.
JAN STURMANN - $50
FRANK MCMAINS - $100
VICTOR BLUE - $200
STEVE DAVIS - $300
STEVE DAVIS - $300
STEVE DAVIS - $300
ADAM SHEMPER - $325
LORI WASELCHUK - $400
ARA OSHAGAN - $400
SEAN KERNAN - $425
TIM GRUBER - $500
STEPHEN TOURLENTES - $500
JENN ACKERMAN - $600
JAMEL SHABAZZ - $600
ADAM AMENGUAL - $750
BRUCE JACKSON - $800
SYE WILLIAMS - $900
JON LOWENSTEIN - $1,000
MIKHAEL SUBOTZKY print of student's work from prison photo-workshop - $1,000
RICHARD ROSS - $1000
DANNY LYON - $1,750
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.