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8,000 miles across America, interviewing photographers and prison experts who've documented and witnessed the era of mass incarceration
8,000 miles across America, interviewing photographers and prison experts who've documented and witnessed the era of mass incarceration
182 backers pledged $11,215 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$11,215

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'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.

Interviewees include:

'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.

WHY?

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.

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.

WHERE?

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.

YOUR DONATION

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

FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    POSTCARD FROM THE ROAD, sourced from one of the many prison museums in the U.S. Listed as an official supporter of the project on website and in book acknowledgements.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    MIXTAPE (CD) of the tracks that keep me sane over the 8,000 miles. PLUS, postcard and listed as an official supporter of the project on website and in book acknowledgements. Plus, postcard from the road.

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    JAN STURMANN signed color print. 'Juvenile Prison Sweat Lodge' (2005). 8.5"x11". PLUS postcard, mixtape and listed as an official supporter of the project on website and in book acknowledgements.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    ORIGINAL PIECE OF PRISON ARTWORK (8.5" x 11"), in pencil or paint. PLUS mixtape, postcard and lsted as an official supporter of the project on website and in book acknowledgements.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    FRANK MCMAINS signed B/W print. 'Boxer, Angola Prison' (2010). 8"x12". Digital print. PLUS, postcard and mixtape.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    SELF-PUBLISHED PHOTOBOOK, 'Prison Photography in the Era of Mass Incarceration' (56 pages). Featuring 20 images and accompanying text by photographer-interviewees. Foreword by Pete Brook. Limited edition run of 150. PLUS postcard and mixtape. Listed as an official supporter of the project on website and in book acknowledgements.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    MAX WHITTAKER signed print. Any image from Whittaker's archive, printed at 11"x17". PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    VICTOR BLUE signed print. 'Closing a Wound, Mara 18' (2005). 11"x14". Archival print. PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    LORI WASELCHUK signed B&W print. 'Lloyd Bone Drives the Funeral Hearse' (2007). 7" X 14". Archival pigment print. #7 of an edition of 25. PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    STEVE DAVIS signed print. Choose one of four prints from his 'Captured Youth' series. 8"x10" color print on 10"x12" heavyweight archival paper. Special edition of 4. PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    Pledge $325 or more About $325

    ADAM SHEMPER signed print. B&W on archival paper. 'In the Wheat Fields, Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola, Louisiana' (2000). 9"x9". PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    LORI WASELCHUK signed B&W print. 'Prison Guard Watches from the Levee, Angola' (2007). 12" X 24". Archival pigment print. #2 of an edition of 15. PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    ARA OSHAGAN signed Color and B&W print. 'Liz, 21 years old, Chowchilla State Prison, CA' (2003). 40"x10". Archival pigment ink print (Giclee). Edition #2 of 10. PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    SEAN KERNAN signed print. ‘Prayer’ (1979). B/W, 8″x12″, inkjet, print. Signed. PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    TIM GRUBER signed print. 'Sunset Behind Bars' (2008). 14x11" Color, archival pigment print on matte paper. Edition #1 of an edition of 25. PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    STEPHEN TOURLENTES signed Artist's Proof. 'Comstock, NY State Prison' (2009). 11"x14"
    B&W, Archival Pigment Print. PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    JENN ACKERMAN signed print. 'A Hand to Hold' (2008) from the series, Trapped. 11"x14" B&W, archival matte. Edition #2 of an edition of 25. PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    JAMEL SHABAZZ signed print. ‘Female Blood’ (1995). 8″x10″ resin coated black and white print. PLUS a postcard, mixtape (CD) and a self-published book.

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    ADAM AMENGUAL signed color print. 'Adrien Caceres' (2011) from the "Homies" series. 11"x14". Archival inkjet print. #2 of an edition of 10. PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    BRENDA ANN KENNEALLY signed print (details to follow). PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    BRUCE JACKSON signed B&W print. 'Dominoes. Death Row, Texas.' (1979)
    12.5"x17" on 13"x19" on Ilford Gallerie Gold Fibre Silk Paper. #3 of an edition of 20. PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    SYE WILLIAMS signed color C-Print. 'The Four' (2001). 11"x14". #2 of an edition of 25. PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    RICHARD ROSS signed color print. '12 year old Harrison County' (2009). 9"x12" Epson digital print on enhanced matt. PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    JON LOWENSTEIN signed print. 'Undocumented Mexican Immigrants - Tent City' (2009). 11"x 14" color print, on Hannemuehle archival paper. Print, PLUS, postcard, mixtape and self-published book.

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    MIKHAEL SUBOTZKY unsigned, framed print. 'Maplank in the Workshop, Pollsmoor Prison' (2005). B&W, silver gelatin print on fiber paper. 35x50cm (frame approx. 50x65cm). Edition: 1/9. PLUS, self published book, postcard and mixtape.

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    Pledge $1,750 or more About $1,750

    DANNY LYON signed print. ‘Ramsey Prison Cell Block, Texas Prison, 1968′ (Negative made 1968, printed by Kelton, for the photographer, in 1995.) B/W, 11"x14" modern-print, signed (verso). PLUS, self-published book, postcard and mixtape.

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Funding period

- (36 days)