Untitled (From the Series “Who Speaks for Me?”) by Mark Isaac

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Dear Mr. President,

One of the most shocking injustices associated with mass incarceration is the fact that our prisons have become a dumping ground for people who have experienced severe trauma, resulting in mental health issues. Instead of receiving needed treatment, they are subjected to additional abuse and mistreatment.

Taylar Neuvelle served four and a half years after she was charged with breaking and entering the house of a former girlfriend and attempting to commit suicide. Taylar was diagnosed with PTSD, trauma, and severe anxiety disorder, and a pre-sentence report recommended that she be treated rather than sent to prison, but the judge overruled this recommendation. In prison, rather than receiving treatment, she was raped, locked in solitary confinement and placed on suicide watch.

Working with Taylar and my wife Gabriela, we adopted a strategy that allowed Taylar to represent her intimate stories and memories. First, we photographed her, and Taylar then took the photographs and distressed them to represent her abuse and mistreatment. By sharing her traumatic experiences with us,

Taylar is opening the door for others to find their voices and bring about much-needed reforms.

Yours truly,

Mark

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“Ellis Island Redux” by Trix Rosen

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Dear Mr. President,

I chose this historic Ladies Room door, which I photographed at the Great Hall on Ellis Island in 1983, because Ellis Island is a national landmark, and a reminder of the hope for freedom and prosperity that the United States has traditionally offered to the “poor, tired, hungry, and downtrodden of the world,” (as proclaimed the 1991 federal legislation designating January 1, 1992 as National Ellis Island Day). As human rights issues like transgender bathroom access and gender equality can be decided by the President, the Courts and Congress, my update to the Ladies bathroom door for “Ellis Island Redux” extends a welcome message of hope, freedom and equality to people of all gender identities and is inclusive to all immigrants, regardless of their religion or country of origin.

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(untitled) by Diana Nicholette Jeon

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Dear Mr. President,

The sheer amount of smoke and mirrors used to cover the inhumane and illegal actions of the Trump administration make my head explode. You time for “on the job training” has long passed, and your proclivity for Russia and it’s government and banks only shows that they really do have you by the shorthairs. Please resign before you mire the country in years of hardship trying to recover from your short time in office.

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