What prisoners in solitary want to see

A collection of photography aims to shed light on the inhumanity of solitary confinement

Published September 25, 2013 10:35PM (EDT)

   (Karen Rodriguez, 2013)
(Karen Rodriguez, 2013)

Photo Requests From Solitary is an exhibition currently on display at Photoville, an art space in Brooklyn, N.Y., that features photographs that inmates from Illinois' Tamms supermax prison have requested to see. The project was organized by Tamms Year Ten, a coalition that aims to end the use of long-term isolation in the state's prisons.

According to the press release, prisoners were allowed "to request photographs of anything in the world, real or imagined."

"For men who see nothing but grey concrete walls, this project was an opportunity to help them see something they wanted to see, used to see or may never see again," it states.

The results are surprising and inspiring, ranging from religious iconography to family and community. Photographers from all over the world have participated and the project will expand to New York and California prisons via Parsons the New School, National Religious Campaign Against Torture and Solitary Watch.

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By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Activism Art Photography Prisons Slideshow Solitary Confinement