A traveling photo/sound exhibition of portraits of, and interviews with, incarcerated youth in the Dane County Juvenile Detention Center.

Amber Sowards,  Untitled , 2015 (detail), from the  Captured  series

Amber Sowards, Untitled, 2015 (detail), from the Captured series

Exhibition flyer

Exhibition flyer

Audio recording of poetry reading on Jan 8 2016 by ALL

Captured | Project Organizers
Arts + Literature Laboratory
Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Dec 10, 2015 - Jan 15, 2016

A traveling exhibition of photographs of incarcerated youth in Dane County; by Amber Sowards, in collaboration with Ali Muldrow and GSAFE's The New Narrative Project.

 is a series of images taken of youth inside the Dane County Juvenile Detention Center in Madison, Wisconsin. The photographic series hopes to expose the general community to what life is like for incarcerated youth in Dane County–including LGBTQ+ youth of color–while at the same time creating a visual narrative that documents and puts a face to what racial disparity looks like in present-day Dane County.

Photographs by Amber Sowards are paired with audio interviews with the youth, conducted by Ali Muldrow, Racial Justice Youth Organizer at GSAFE. The audio, edited by Max Puchalsky, was designed to heighten the intimate connection between viewer and subject, as well as provide a platform for youth experiencing incarceration to share their first-hand stories and experiences. Muldrow currently heads GSAFE's The New Narrative Project, which aims to be a bridge between incarcerated youth and self-determination by providing weekly, 90-minute arts-based workshops in the DCJDC. 

A poetry reading and closing panel discussion on youth incarceration complemented the exhibition. Poets included T. Banks, Rockameem Bell, Carlos Eduardo Garchná, and Dana Maya; panelists included Eugenia Highland, YWCA Restorative Justice Manager; Luis Yudice, MMSD Coordinator of School Safety and Security; Heidi Mayree Wegleitner, Dane County Supervisor D2; and Sabrina Progress Madison, speaker, poet, and founder of The Conversation Mixtape.

This project is ongoing; after helping stage the first iteration of Captured at ALL, we are currently working with Amber Sowards, Ali Muldrow, and GSAFE to help the exhibition travel to venues throughout Dane County in 2016. Captured will show next at the Sun Prairie Public Library (WI).

Captured is made possible by GSAFE, a nonprofit that works to increase the capacity of LGBTQ+ students, educators, and families to create schools in Wisconsin where all youth can thrive; with support from Dane Arts and the Arts + Literature Laboratory.

Amber Sowards

The Capital Times | January 8, 2016
Madison365 | December 11, 2015

Amber Sowards
Arts + Literature Laboratory
The New Narrative Project
Dane Arts