Broken?

Broken? aims to raise difficult questions and provoke conversations about what Michelle Alexander, author of the The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, calls “the most pressing racial justice issue of our time.” The exhibit explores the U.S. criminal justice system through photographs and testimonies of formerly incarcerated people and of community leaders working for prison reform.

Featuring: Picture Justice students, Christopher Gregory/Black Box and Zach Gross

Presented by

PROOF: Media for Social Justice

Supported by

United Nations International School

Curated by

Leora Kahn

 

Leora_Kahn-PROOF_LogoRev_Orange

The United States of America is the global leader in incarceration. With just five percent of the world’s population, it is home to 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, including one-third of the world’s incarcerated women. Over 6.9 million people in the US are currently incarcerated, on probation or on parole. That’s one in 35 Americans and one in six Black men. In fact, there are more Black men in the criminal justice system today than there were enslaved in 1850.

How did it get to be like this? How did the “home of the free” become the world’s biggest jailer? How “just” is the U.S. criminal justice system?

Broken? is an exhibit of PROOF: Media for Social Justice, in partnership with the United Nations International School (UNIS) and participating Picture Justice students.

The exhibit aims to raise difficult questions and provoke conversations about what Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, calls “the most pressing racial justice issue of our time.” Broken? explores the U.S. criminal justice system through photographs and testimonies of formerly incarcerated people and of community leaders working for prison reform.

Produced by PROOF: Media for Social Justice, Broken? features the work of Picture Justice students who partnered with professional photographers, journalists and educators to conduct research on mass incarceration, learn ethical reporting and photojournalism techniques, and create this large-scale photo exhibition.

An ongoing partnership between PROOF and UNIS, Picture Justice is a creative photojournalism program designed to educate high school students about social justice issues and empower them with the tools and confidence they need to lead change in their own communities. Picture Justice fosters critical thinking and active citizenship, promotes compassion and empathy, and equips students with the communication skills they need to relay their experiences to the wider public.

ARTIST BIO

The content for Broken? was created by high school students from the United Nations International School.

The exhibit was designed by Willhemina Wahlin, the Creative Director for PROOF: Media for Social Justice. Wahlin has worked as a journalist, editor, copywriter and graphic designer in Australia and Japan, and has been the Creative Director of PROOF since 2009. She is a Lecturer in Graphic Design at Charles Sturt University in Australia, where she is also a doctoral candidate. Her practice-led research focuses on the design of exhibitions that deal with ‘difficult knowledge’ topics, such as genocide, gender-based violence and contested histories.

ORGANIZATION BIO

PROOF: Media for Social Justice is a non-profit organization based in New York City that uses visual storytelling and education to inspire global attitude and policy changes. It was founded in 2006 under the vision of Leora Kahn, a longtime photo editor, documentary producer and human rights advocate, who sought to unite the skills and experiences of internationally renowned photojournalists for social good.

The United Nations International School (UNIS) is a Kindergarten-to-12th grade, coeducational, college-preparatory day school, established in 1947 by a group of United Nations parents to provide an international education for their children, while preserving their diverse cultural heritages. UNIS has over 1,550 students in two locations, serving the United Nations, as well as international and New York communities.

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