You know they times when we was in just right here at OPP, excuse me, intake – you're in a holding cell you might sleep in a holding cell for three days. You might get one roll of tissue paper for 30 women. You tell them you're on your cycle and it takes them hours to come… it was just so much… I just don't want to have to endure that no more… I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, I really wouldn’t.
These photographs are part of an ongoing project that asks formerly incarcerated women the question, “What items did you miss most while incarcerated?” The responses are interpreted into still lifes. The goal of this project is to put forth the humanity of incarcerated women while highlighting the inhumanity of the system. Most of the responses are every day objects that we take for granted such as a glass of water when we want it, or enough toilet paper. This project focuses specifically on women because they have a set of issues that are too often overlooked in an already overlooked topic. The system disproportionally affects women of color, and they often receive harsher sentences and worse treatment because of the sentiment that women are breaking both the law and social norms. It has a massive impact on children and families, and sexual assault factors into the equation both inside and outside the prison walls. The hope is to bring attention and compassion to these issues through creating these images.
Image I (blue)
Response: shower and bathroom privacy, toilet paper, soap, pads, razors, personal hygiene products, perm, make-up
Image II (pink)
Response: family photos, hot food, clothes, TV show preference
Still Human, Still Lifes: Yolanda Ford, I and II, 2018