Inspiring Incarcerated Individuals to Visualize Their Dreams in Photos
August 11, 2020 3:14 PM   Subscribe

“This project has helped me realize things I didn’t know about myself. I didn’t realize the strength I had…also the beauty in the other people as well as myself. My art is a different type of art—it isn’t drawing or making shit…it is like a form of art of the mind. Thought it endless. There is more than one possible way to think. For myself, I hope to spread strength and love.”
--Raymond, a participant in photographer Justin Maxon's Livin' the Dream
Inspired by a 2015 study on visualization techniques in goal achievement...Maxon recognized the power of belief in helping individuals increase their capacities for achievement. He invited each participant to identify their dream — being a surfer, drummer, boat captain, motivational speaker, wizard — and invited them to act out the role for a series of photographs. The participant was then given their portrait, which they then cut out and set into a collage depicting the landscape of their desires in which they were the central protagonist.
More on the project at Feature Shoot.
posted by youarenothere (3 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

That is a beautiful project, and the pieces the participants created are just wonderful. I really want to sit down with each of those men and ask them about all the components of their collages, and hear about all the facets of their dreams.

I'm really way more moved by this, and enthused, than I seem to be able to say right now.

Thank you so much for posting this, youarenothere. I doubt I would have seen it otherwise, and I am really, really glad to know this project exists. I wonder if I can take some action to encourage more funding for these kinds of programs, and Maxon's Livin' the Dream specifically.

Thank you.
posted by kristi at 5:33 PM on August 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

This is really wonderful.
posted by sepviva at 4:16 AM on August 12, 2020

For more about photography and prisons, including some projects in similar veins deep in the archives, check out Pete Brook's wonderful and extensive Prison Photography blog, which sadly hasn't been updated in about a year and which was the subject of an FPP eleven years ago. The blog is an astonishingly comprehensive and critical examination of visual representations of incarceration.

Brook periodically has a hand in exhibitions of various sorts, some of which travel in the US and internationally, and are always worth checking out.
posted by msbrauer at 8:48 AM on August 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

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