Nothing To Lose is a series of photographs documenting the Angola Prison Rodeo. “Once deemed the bloodiest prison in the south, the Louisiana State Penitentiary (nicknamed Angola) has transformed into a criminal safe haven thanks to efforts put forth by Warden Burl Cain. Angola is home to 5,200 inmates and 9 out of every 10 prisoners will die there.” – Darryl said. The rodeo is held every Sunday in October and it provides the way to escape the daily drudgery. On the other hand, it also gives them the opportunity to make an income while in prison, by selling various handmade arts and crafts, or by winning an event in the actual rodeo.
When inmate Michael Lewis was asked to provide his thoughts on Angola, he simply started, “if you have to be in prison this is the place to be”.
This set of the frozen moments explores the brutal reality of America’s mass incarceration culture. Once you are incarcerated, society treats you as an inhumane object, no matter what the crime may be. The restoration process for criminals returning into the real world is virtually nonexistent. Unfortunately, all of your rights as an actual human being are detracted.
With each photograph captured, I attemped to delineate the combative livestock as society and the views in which the majority of society has towards convicts.
In this set you see the inmates put their lives on the line as they fearlessly struggle with the aforementioned “society”. It is easy to risk everything when you have nothing to lose.
Thank you for sharing this with us Darryl, the story is much more interesting through art.
Nov 16 by Danijel