Isadora Kosofsky, Still My Mother, Still My Father
For the past six years, Isadora Kosofsky has documented the relationship among youth, families and confinement through multiple long-term projects in the American criminal justice system. Still My Mother, Still My Father documents quarterly bonding meetings between children and their mothers and fathers at twelve men’s and women’s prisons in the state of Florida. These events are facilitated by Children of Inmates, an organization in Florida dedicated to bringing incarcerated families together.**
One question that drives Kosofsy is if and how family trauma is repairable. For many of those incarcerated in the US, parents and children have to express love in a setting that, by its nature, negates human contact. But, in these bonding visits, they are able to feel, smell and caress those closest to them.
More than 2.7 million children in the U.S. have an incarcerated parent, and approximately 10 million children have experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives. Nationally, there are more than 120,000 incarcerated mothers and 1.1 million incarcerated fathers who are parents of minor children.
** In New York state prisons, children and parents have been able to meet, touch and bond in a way reflected by Kosofsky’s photographs from Florida. However, county jails have not allowed such intimacy. Here in Hudson, Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood (GHPN) with the cooperation of Columbia County Jail have initiated a program for area children of parents incarcerated there to meet in a family-friendly environment. PPMP’s fourth Thursday program, July 20, 6-7:30pm led by Joan Hunt of GHPN will present images and information about this local project.
See Bio Below
bio Isadora Kosofsky is a documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She takes an immersive approach to photojournalism, working with her subjects for years at a time to document American social issues from a humanistic stance.
Kosofsky’s work is in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and can be found in Family Photography Now (Thames and Hudson, 2016) and in Public Private Portraiture(Mossless.) Her series, “Vinny and David: Life and Incarceration of a Family,” is on exhibition at Art Works Projects for Human Rights in Chicago from June 8 to August 10, 2017. She will also be an exhibiting photojournalist at the 2017 Visa Pour L’Image Photojournalism Festival in Perpignan, France in September.
She received the 2012 Inge Morath Award from the Magnum Foundation for her multi-series documentary about romantic relationships of the aged. Her work has received distinctions from Flash Forward Magenta Foundation, Ian Parry Foundation, Social Documentary Network, IAFOR, Women in Photography International, Prix de la Photographie Paris, The New York Photo Festival and a nomination for Reportage Photography of the Year at the 2016 Lead Awards.
Kosofsky’s images have been featured in The London Sunday Times Magazine, Slate, The Washington Post, TIME, Le Monde, VICE, The New Yorker, Mashable, and The Huffington Post, among others.