Tag Archives: slideshow

Daring Photographer Takes On the World of Mental Illness Behind Bars (Slideshow)

KSR - CPTUPhotographer Jenn Ackerman is nothing if not a boundary-pusher. Her work delicately treads the line between art and ethnography, offering glimpses into worlds that both trouble and intrigue us – from beauty pageants to dying inmates. Alongside her husband and creative partner, Tim Gruber, Ackerman captures the beauty and grace that can exist in even the harshest conditions, as demonstrated poignantly in her photo series “Trapped.” This project, inspired by a NY Times article on the growing population of inmates with mental illness, brings viewers into the stark world of someone trapped both physically and psychologically. It’s a place none of us would want to be, but one in which Ackerman immersed herself for the sake of shedding light on this little known side of the prison system. Ackerman writes:

My intention was to make that made the viewer feel what I felt when I was inside the prison. I took a more personal and emotional approach to this project than I ever have…I left the prison everyday wanting to help these men that have nowhere else to go. There were days that I was extremely scared and others that I left thinking how much someone on the outside missed them. Some days, I had to remind myself that many of these men had done heinous things. There were also days when I was reminded that some of these men have faded into the system with no hope of getting out…

For most of these men, they have been outcasts of society and rarely heard. So they had a chance to share their story and have someone listen that actually cared to listen not just focused on treatment or safety. My intention is to spark calls for reform for the treatment of the mentally ill and the prison system in the US.

On the project’s website you can watch the feature video, which includes a combination of action footage, still images, facts about the conditions of mentally ill inmates, and audio from an interview with the warden from the prison Ackerman photographed. The content is unsettling and at times hard to watch, but it is an important step toward shedding light on a community that might otherwise go faceless and nameless. Their stories, at least, will not remain trapped.


Photo credit: Jenn Ackerman

Occupy Gezi: Turkish Police Turn Violent on Peaceful Interfaith Protest (Inspiring Photos!)

v0sKEzcLast week, an interfaith, multicultural group in Istanbul, Turkey convened to protest Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to demolish Gezi Park and convert it into a shopping mall. What began as a festive summer sit-in quickly turned violent when police forces arrived with guns, tear gas, and barricades. According to The New Yorker, at least twelve people have been hospitalized with head injuries, and according to one participant’s account, two people were killed in the scuffle.

The events in Gezi Park are startling and unnerving, especially given that this was a non-political, non-violent demonstration. Since when do police start handing out head injuries at picnics? Sure, this “picnic” had a specific purpose that went against what government authorities had in mind, but as one blogger wrote: “People went to the park with their blankets, books and children. They put their tents down and spent the night under the trees.” The #occupygezi and #occupyturkey hashtags that have sprung up on social media in last few days describe police setting fire to demonstrators’ tents and arresting hundreds of peaceful protesters. This conjures memories of violent confrontations during the US’s own Occupy demonstrations in 2011 and 2012, all of which speaks to the fundamental frailty of civil rights in these places.

Our spirits are with Occupy Gezi demonstrators around the world as they stand strong for civil and community rights:


Images sourced imgur.com and Occupy Gezi’s Facebook page.

Beautiful Makeshift Memorial at the Site of The Boston Marathon Bombing (Slideshow)

At the site of the recent Boston Marathon bombing, mourners have pooled their efforts to create a beautiful makeshift memorial – reminding us once again of the true spirit of humanity that can grow out of such tragedies. A member of our Intent team visited the memorial and snapped these amazing, heart-wrenching photos. One visitor remarked that the site looked like a “huge outdoor cathedral,” indicating just the level of reverence and contemplation that these photos certainly depict.

It’s good to take a break from all the ongoing news coverage surrounding the bombers to remember the victims and the hearts and communities left broken. The memorial brings this reality to the forefront, and we are inspired by this gesture of compassion and community resilience. Please enjoy, share, and show your continuing love and support for those affected by the bombing.

Down with Fat-Shaming: 8 of the Worst Ads for Self-Esteem (Slideshow)

The tragic statistics about body image and eating disorders apparently haven’t been drilled into our brains enough for us to definitively take a stand against fat-shaming. With Dove‘s recent beauty campaign, Israel’s recent ban on underweight models, and endless discourse on bodies, plastic surgery, and celebrity diets, it is troubling but certainly eye-opening to see the kind of body-negative messaging that fills our public sphere.

Here are 5 of the most offensive fat-shaming ads out there. In posting these, our intent is not to perpetuate these messages but rather to inspire the kind of fire that will ultimately lead us to say NO once and for all to these ads and everything they stand for.

What kind of ads would you like to see promoting health and body-positivity? Tell us your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below!

Sex, Cosmo, and Karl Marx (5 Hilarious Mash-ups)

Kim-Kardashian-Cosmopolitan-Magazine-August-2011-IssueYou may know the magazine Cosmopolitan as a titillating and dare-we-say trashy indulgence – a women’s magazine dedicating to sex, beauty, and celebrity fashion. Because that’s all women care about, right? Regardless of how enthusiastic or critical you may feel for the publication, there are some aspects of its history that might surprise you:

1. It was first published in 1886.

2. It began as a family magazine, with articles on household concerns, childcare, and recipes.

3. After some time it transitioned into more of a literary magazine, publishing works by writers like Upton Sinclair, Kurt Vonnegut, Willa Cather, and H. G. Wells.

4. In the 1960’s, Helen Gurley Brown took over as editor and began running covers and articles that reflected the sexual liberation movement of the time.

5. Cosmopolitan is published in over 30 languages and is distributed in more than 100 countries, which (perhaps surprisingly) includes places like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Mongolia, Latvia, Turkey, Serbia, Colombia, India, and more.

To feature some of Cosmo‘s diverse influences and past lives, one clever Tumblr user created the mash-up Cosmarxpolitan (in reference to the philosopher and cultural theorist, Karl Marx.) These fake magazine covers display famous philosophers’ faces superimposed on studly male bodies, with article titles like, “Sex Tips so divine, he’ll call you the opiate of his masses,” “The Asiatic mode of production and your butt,” and “How to Smash Capitalism (while you work out!)”

These intelligent, light-hearted mash-ups are meant to be humorous, but they also call into question the ways in which we consume popular culture. Is sex all that sells? Without disrespecting the sexual revolution and all that our society gained as a result, what if Cosmo reunited with its literary past and gave their audience something to think about beyond the next orgasm? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images via Tumblr

7 Amazing Images of Elephants to Start Your Weekend

In the spirit of our new weekly advice column, “The Elephant in the Room,” we thought we’d give you a nice visual to start your weekend with. Beautiful, powerful, moving, and just plain adorable, these images are guaranteed to make an impression on your heart.

There are roughly 450,000  to 700,000 African elephants and 35,000 to 40,000 Asian elephants in the world today. These numbers have drastically reduced since the turn of the 20th century, though, due to poaching, climate change, and habitat loss. Majestic and highly intelligent, elephants live in matriarchal herds and can communicate with one another even over vast distances. They are the “big friendly giants” of the animal kingdom, and certainly worthy of praise.

Have a great weekend!

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