Visibly behind bars



Pete Brook (born in Lancashire, England) is not a photographer. The writer who lives in Seattle describes himself as a photography researcher. To be more specific, Brook's niche is 'the analysis of photography in sites of incarceration'. He is fascinated by the way the camera and its operator perform in interpreting the stories and systems. He facilitates a weekly art studio in a local prison, dedicates his free time to a blog about prison photography and currently works on a road project about the stories behind the pictures. 

The writer's blog is a visual exploration of prison photography worldwide. The covered projects range from Islam in prison to how the presence of sprawling prison complexes redefine the American landscape in socio-economic terms, and from beauty pageant contests in Colombian penitentiary institutions to the controversies surrounding Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. 

The lighthearted written blog instigates the relevant dialogue about the American prison system. Current image-forming is illustrated on the basis of recent convictions widely covered by the media. Furthermore, mentions of exhibitions and other projects as well as interviews with renowned photographers such as Michal Chelbin are to be found on the blog.

Currently, Brook has taken his project on the road. Forty audio interviews will tell the stories behind the photographs. You can support his project by signing up for the self-published photo book, a postcard from the road, or by buying one of the photographs donated by numerous award-winning photographers.