The Women of Chowchilla Prison.
Chowchilla prison with over 3,676 inmates is the largest women ‘s prison in the world. One day in late fall 2010 I was granted unpresented access to this “bardo” for one hour, and in that short time I managed to photograph 19 women. Desperate to connect with an empathetic outsider, during each sitting the women shared with me their fears, hopes and prayers relating to issues with the prison system and their tragic lives. I realized that imprisoned women feel utterly invisible to those of us who are free, in fact they become invisible even to themselves. On the back of the release forms, women rushed to scrawl notes to me of their hopes, dreams, important facts about their imprisonment, and prayers. In the end, I’m haunted not knowing if they were even allowed the prints I sent to them.... if they were allowed even that small reunion with themselves.