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Interviews with those who are or were incarcerated.
For more than forty years Bruce Jackson has been documenting--in books, photographs, audio recording, and film--inmates' lives in American prisons. In November, 1975, he acquired a collection of old ID photos while he was visiting the Cummins Unit, a state prison farm in Arkansas. They are published together for the first time in this remarkable book. The 121 images that appear here were likely taken between 1915 and 1940. As Jackson describes in an absorbing introduction, the function of these photos was not portraiture--their function was to "fold a person into the controlled space of a dossier. " Here, freed from their prison "jackets," and printed at sizes far larger than their originals, these one-time ID photos have now become portraits. Jackson's restoration transforms what were small bureaucratic artifacts into moving images of real men and women. Pictures from a Drawer also contains an extraordinary description of everyday life at Cummins prison in the 1950s, written originally by hand and presented to Jackson in 1973 by its author, a long-time inmate.
Making and experiencing stories, remembering and retelling them is something we all do. We tell stories over meals, at the water cooler, and to both friends and strangers. But how do stories work? What is it about telling and listening to stories that unites us? And, importantly, how do we change them-and how do they change us? InThe Story Is True, author, filmmaker, and photographer Bruce Jackson explores the ways we use the stories that become a central part of our public and private lives. He examines, as no one before has, how stories narrate and bring meaning to our lives, by describing and explaining how stories are made and used. The perspectives shared in this engaging book come from the tellers, writers, filmmakers, listeners, and watchers who create and consume stories. Jackson writes about his family and friends, acquaintances and experiences, focusing on more than a dozen personal stories, from oral histories, such as conversations the author had with poet Steven Spender, to public stories, such as what happened when Bob Dylan "went electric"at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Jackson also investigates how "words can kill," showing how diction can be an administrator of death, as in Nazi extermination camps. And finally, he considers the way lies come to resemble truth, showing how the stories we tell, whether true or not, resemble truth to the teller. Ultimately,The Story Is Trueis about the place of stories-fiction or real-and the impact they have on the lives of each one of us.
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