Chandra McCormick & Keith Calhoun: Slavery –The Prison Industrial Complex

Published by L9 Center for the Arts, New Orleans, LA
Fall 2015

Incubator Grant

Featured in Prospect 3 New Orleans and the 56th Venice Biennale, McCormick & Calhoun’s Slavery: The Prison Industrial Complex is an ongoing series of photographs that chronicles African-American life within the Louisiana prison system. Their investigation, which began in the 1980s, probes the hidden realities of the state prison system and depicts scenes of forced labor, humble art fairs, spectacular rodeos and somber familial visits all set within the prison walls. These striking photographs provide a personal glimpse into the experiences of the incarcerated and the communities that are closely affected.

Through VIA Art Fund’s support, McCormick and Calhoun published a 40-page soft cover book featuring selected photographs from this series, accompanied by an essay by poet, author and activist Kalamu Ya Salaam. The publication launched in the Fall 2015, following the work’s inclusion in the 56th Venice Biennale.

Learn more about the project and L9 Center for the Arts here.

Images: Chandra McCormick & Kieth Calhoun, from the series Slavery: The Prison Industrial Complex, 1980s–present, courtesy of the artists.