Prison Portraits: The Ciudad Juarez Women’s Prison
War is complex. Sometimes there are obvious victims and clear perpetrators. One good. One evil. Black. White. But more often, participants in a war fall into a hazy middle category: They have committed crimes and suffered from them; inflicted wounds and salved their own.
U.S. photographer Katie Orlinsky moved to Mexico in 2006, just after graduating from college. The drug war surrounded her, and she quickly realized that women — not just men — were serving as its weary warriors, ferrying contraband and kidnapping kingpins. Between 2007 and 2011, the number of women incarcerated for federal crimes rose 400 percent. Orlinsky began to wonder: Who are these women? Innocent victims of a broken system? Cold-hearted criminals? Both?
In 2010, she entered the female prison in Ciudad Juárez and began photographing the convicted women inside. Below, she answers questions about the project.
1. Maria Sol Zocoro, 42, in prison for homicide
2. Nancy Nunez, 22, and daughter Claudia Marlen, 3. Nunez is in prison for drug trafficking
3. Laura Érika Mar, 23, in prison for homicide
4. Julia Fragozo, 28, in prison for drug trafficking
5. Yazmín Mendoza, 27, in prison for drug trafficking
6. Lorena, 50, in prison for drug trafficking. “I am not ashamed. There are worse things,” says Lorena. “My husband is dead and I did it for my children.”
7. Carla Soloria, 27, in prison for drug and weapons trafficking
8. Claudia Ramirez Contreras, 21, and Eunice Ramírez, 19, outside their prison cell in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The Ramirez sisters were models and party hostesses until they found themselves behind bars, accused of kidnapping
9. Abril Alvarado Ortega, 32, in prison for drug trafficking
Before moving to North Wales in 2003, Tom Wood had been photographing the people of his Liverpool neighbourhood for almost three decades. In these two volumes, Wood displays carefully edited photographs taken from his archives filled with artistic chronicles of the lives of men and women. Even though the pictures are not presented in a chronological order, Men and Women ends up being a book saturated with history, showing Liverpool in transition from its industrial past. Never seen without his camera, and constantly moving between different formats and photographic styles, colour and black and white, the Photie Man (as Wood became known locally and as his last book with Steidl was titled) readily mixes images of strangers with portraits of family and friends. Tom Wood was born in 1951 in County Mayo in the west of Ireland. He lived and worked on Merseyside between 1978 and 2003 before he moved to his current home in North Wales. Wood has published numerous books, including Bus Odyssey, People, All Zones Off Peak and Looking for Love. He has had solo and group exhibitions worldwide and his work is part of the collections of major museums. Bradford (22 March to 1 September 2013).
Lucian Freud by Harry Diamond
Vintage bromide print, 1974
© Harry Diamond / National Portrait Gallery, London