by Ed Kashi
Immigrant detention is prison by any other name. There are currently over 33,000 beds in private and public facilities – paid for with taxpayer dollars – that have to be filled daily to justify the expense. Since 1996, the U.S. has followed a policy of mandatory detention for all asylum seekers, meaning they are placed in handcuffs at the airport and expedited to a nearby facility so that they never technically touch U.S. soil. The 1996 law also mandates deportation for people convicted of certain criminal acts, many of them nonviolent offenses. Once people enter detention, they can be held indefinitely with limited access to communication and legal representation. Immigration courts are so backlogged that as of April 2017, there were 585,930 people waiting for a decision, with an average wait time of 670 days.
This project is currently on view at PROJECT FOR EMPTY SPACE in Newark, NJ
Listen to Juliet Horton’s story
Juliet Horton, originally from Uzbekistan, with her four-year-old son, Arthur, in Oxford, Maine on August 23, 2017. Juliet was in immigrant detention at the Hudson County Jail, Hartford Correctional Center for 2 years and 9 months.
Listen to Abu Bakar’s story
Abu Bakar, originally from Sierra Leone, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 12, 2017. Abu was a former detainee at Elizabeth Detention Center, Bucks County Prison, Allentown Prison for 3 years and was part of a lawsuit against the Esmor Corporation, a private company that ran the immigrant detention facility at the time he was detained.
These two portraits are part of a series that is currently on display at Gateway Project Spaces in Newark, NJ as part of the Newark iteration of Humanities Action Lab’s traveling exhibition, States of Incarceration (from October 18th to December 15th, 2017). Newest Americans–a collaborative storytelling project led by partners Talking Eyes Media, VII Photo and the Center for Migration and the Global City at Rutgers-Newark–produced eight photographic portraits by founding partner Ed Kashi of people who were detained between 1996 and the present, and conducted interviews with the subjects about their experience in detention and their lives since they were released. Kashi’s life-sized portraits feature former detainees who firmly stand their ground even while their physical settings seem to be receding from them, as though they are there and not there, at home and adrift, uncertain of their place in America. These portraits are accompanied by recorded accounts from the detainees, who phone visitors back when texted via cellphone. Visitors may text 973-707-3188 with the name of the subject to hear them tell their story.
Further support to create more portraits and interviews is currently being sought out to expand this project.
Tags: Ed Kashi, Immigration, incarceration, Stories, USA
Due to overwhelming demand, we’re extending our VIIxHRW print sale — 28 signed iconic VII prints are available for $100 each for a limited time only, so shop now!
50% of proceeds from this print sale will be donated to Human Rights Watch in order to assist them in their important work promoting and protecting human rights worldwide. Proceeds that remain with VII are used to advance the work of photographers focusing on social issues globally and furthering the agency’s core mission: truth and justice.
VII Agency is proud to announce a print sale in collaboration with Human Rights Watch. We are offering a very special edition of our VII Iconic prints available for purchase starting November 20 until November 27, 2017.
For the special price of US$100, each specially editioned 8”×10” photograph is hand-signed by the photographer. Printed on Fuji Crystal Archive museum grade C-Type paper at New York City’s top photographic lab, these images are beautifully backed and sleeved in fully archival materials. Each print is embossed with the VII logo and comes with a certificate of authenticity printed on museum grade acid-free paper.
In addition, VII is offering a beautiful box set of all 28 images. Prints will be presented in a walnut slip-case, hand made by an artisan in Glasgow, Scotland, with the VII logo engraved on the front panel.
The cost of a box set is US$2000.
All prints will be sent using United States Postal Service via certified mail and will take between three to four weeks from the end of the sale to arrive.
The sale begins on November 20, 2017 at 12:00 PM EST and concludes on November 27, 2017 at 12:00 PM EST. Shop now!
Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
We asked Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter followers to submit questions about fake news as it relates to photojournalism for the next installment of 7 with VII where VII photographers answer your seven questions.
Click here for the answers from VII members Anush Babajanyan, Ashley Gilbertson, Ed Kashi, Ilvy Njiokiktjien, Nichole Sobecki and John Stanmeyer, and VII Mentor Program photographer Arnau Bach.
VII is excited to announce one of the most transformative evolutions in its history. The agency has added to its fold a diverse and polymathic group of photographers, filmmakers, and educators who will help steer the agency into the next period of its storied life.
The new members are Anush Babajanyan, Zackary Canepari, Linda Bournane Engelberth, Ziyah Gafic, Ilvy Njiokiktjien, Carlos Javier Ortiz, Ruddy Roye, and Nichole Sobecki. They will join current members Jessica Dimmock, Danny Wilcox Frazier, Ashley Gilbertson, Ron Haviv, Jocelyn Bain Hogg, Ed Kashi, Stefano De Luigi, Christopher Morris, Maciek Nabrdalik, Franco Pagetti, and Tomas van Houtryve.
Joining them as emeritus members are Dr. Paul Lowe, Daniel Schwartz, Maggie Steber, and Sara Terry. They will join current Emeritus members Joachim Ladefoged, Antonin Kratochvil, Gary Knight, John Stanmeyer, and the Estate of Alexandra Boulat.