The Prison in Twelve Landscapes
Althea Wasow is a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of the Arts and Sciences at UC Santa Cruz. Her current book project, Moving Images/Modern Policing: Silent Cinema and Its Afterlives, analyzes the complicity and resistance between police power and motion pictures in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Shot on location across the United States, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes shows how the carceral system reaches far beyond prison walls to affect the lives and livelihoods of disadvantaged Americans, especially Black and brown Americans. From New York to California, Los Angeles to Detroit, Kentucky to the Bronx, Story documents the abuse of prison labor, the exorbitant costs of communicating with prisoners incurred by families, and a pattern of systematic extractive harassment by way of traffic stops and tickets issued for misdemeanors in low-income areas. Sidestepping drama and polemics, Story’s documentary is nonetheless a damning collection of evidence for abolition.