It is hard to know how to do justice to the photos and subjects from Angola Prison. So, I wont even really try. Originally, Details Magazine was going to run my article about intra-prison boxing out there but things changed for a variety of reasons and I am still looking for an appropriate forum for the story. So, if anyone has any contacts at Time or the New Yorker, hook a brother up. I shot a ton of photos on Wednesday night and all I can really say about it is that my original feelings about Angola (as expressed in this article) are even more jumbled and complex. Spending the better part of 4 hours in a room with 300 murderers and rapists who are, none-the-less, living human beings deserving respect and decency of some kind, is a draining experience. Every time I have visited Angola to interview prisoners or to photograph something I can’t shake the feeling that I have been given a yard pass in hell. Those guys have all done horrible things, no denying that, but they are truly just passing time until their death. If “life with out the possibility of parole” is not the definition of an Existentialist sort of hell then I can’t imagine what is; the whole experience puts the finality of the human experience into bold and stark terms. I probably just need to play with some puppies or something comparably uplifting.
This shot was taken with a Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens at ISO 800. This is moment after the bout was called, as you can tell. Taken on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.