“If you could have a window in your cell, what place from your past would it look out to?”
This is the question a photography team sent to hundreds of prisoners in federal penitentiaries all around the country. The prisoners who received the question have two things in common; they are all originally from the D.C. area and were all convicted of crimes when they were juveniles.
Upon receiving answers from prisoners across the U.S., students from Duke Ellington School of the Arts and George Mason University traveled around D.C. photographing the locations the prisoners requested. Then they mailed the photographs to each prisoner as a way to help them “bridge the distance” between their cells and their homes.
“The project begins with an idea, that becomes a photograph, that when enlarged, creates new social models that blur art, education, and activism,” the project’s website reads.
Locals to the D.C. area can view these photos and letters printed on 12-by-9-foot banners on the Fairfax, Va., campus of George Mason University through April 21, 2014.
Below is one of the photographs and corresponding request letters. To see more “Windows From Prison,” please visit the exhibit website.