Portfolio
Windows From Prison, by Mark Strandquist

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Dearest Free Minds,

Thank you for allowing me to participate in this project. I am elated and honored. I would like a photo taken of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s memorial located in downtown Washington, D.C. Though I’ve never been there physically, if I had a window in my cell this is what I would like to look out to.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a martyr for the human race. With his powerful quote “Judge me by the content of my character not by the color of my skin.” Also the methodology of the non-violent revolution during the struggle for equality in America.

Somehow during the course of my life I failed to recall my history. I took school for granted oblivious to the fact that people fought and died for me to get an education. I took reading for granted and it was not long ago that our ancestors suffered the penalty of death for something as simple as reading a book.

This photo will be a constant reminder to never take anything for granted. It will also remind me that the methodology of the black non-violent revolution utilized in America to acquire equality, must be utilized again in the effort and endeavor to save our race. It is imperative to remember the history of our ancestors. In order to foster a bond and spiritual discourse in response to the history that we’re writing today through the lives that we live. Again, thank you for the opportunity to participate in this project.

“Aspiring Young Minds”

 

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Windows From Prison is an ongoing project that uses photography as a catalyst for community engagement and strives to facilitate a humanistic window into the histories, realities, and desires of some of the 2.3 million incarcerated Americans. During a series of workshops, incarcerated individuals are invited to choose, “If you had a window in your cell, what place from your past would it look out to?”  Participants provide a detailed memory from the chosen location and describe how they would want the image composed. Working with high school and college students, the requested locations are then photographed and an image is handed or mailed back to the incarcerated participants.  Utilizing collaborative practice, interactive installations, and public interventions, the project facilitates a discursive space for crisis level issues concerning incarceration and for the civic and artistic ways in which we engage the world.

Mark Strandquist

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