Due to the evaporation of funding that supports mental health facilities, many prisons across the United States have been given the extra duty of treating those who are mentally ill. These patient-prisoners are often trapped within the systems with no where else to go for better treatment.
Trapped is a project by Minneapolis, Minnesota-based photographer Jenn Ackerman that shares the experiences of these prisoners through gritty black-and-white photographs.
Prison visiting rooms are often home to large-scale paintings that are enjoyed by only a few. Often created by the inmates themselves, the artworks serve as the photographic backdrops of a portrait studio as inmates pose in front of them for pictures that are given to loved ones as mementos.
Since these intricate drawings are generally only seen by inmates, visitors, and employees, photographer Alyse Emdur decided that she wanted to document them for a wider audience. She spent years creating a project titled Prison Landscapes, featuring photos of these idealized backdrops that, for a moment, transport the inmates to faraway places.
Prison is no cake walk — and rightfully so. Inmates of maximum security prisons have often done terrible things, things that in some states are still punishable by death. But is there a fate worse than death? Read more…
Photographer Cosmin Bumbut was given the opportunity lead a photo workshop in one of the least likely places — in a women’s penitentiary in Romania. Bumbat furnished 14 women with six Canon PowerShots plus cards and batteries, and taught them basic photography. The photo workshop began meeting weekly, and within two months, the class had produced some 14,000 images.
The participants achieved what so many professional photographers strive to do: they wove together a very compelling visual story that also has a back story that is just as raw and captivating.
Bumbut has a small batch of additional photos on Punctum (be aware, there is some nudity in a few photos). The photos portray a very intimate portrait of the women and their daily lives from a refreshingly straightforward and honest perspective.