Photographer’s exhibit a look into Oklahoma’s female incarceration problem
By JAMES D. WATTS JR. World Scene Writer
A new way of seeing gave Yousef Khanfar his voice.
“I was about 5 or 6 years old, and up to that time I had never spoke,” Khanfar said. “Exactly why that was true no one not even myself really understood. It was not that there was some trauma or something like that.
“My father took me to a doctor,” he said. “The doctor told my father he was not going to give me any medication, but that what I needed was some other way to express myself, something that involved the arts.”
Khanfar’s father presented his son with a Nikon camera, and almost from the moment when Khanfar peered through the viewfinder and clicked the shutter, he was hooked.
“That small silver box was magic,” he said. “It did so much for me including, about seven months after I received the camera, I began talking.”
“Invisible Eve” exhibit goes behind bars in Oklahoma to reveal women all but forgotten
By Darla Shelden
The state of Oklahoma incarcerates more women per capita than any other state in the nation. The majority of them are imprisoned for non-violent or drug-related offenses.
In the book, Invisible Eve, award-winning photographer and writer Yousef Khanfar goes behind prison walls to capture the essence of women who he believes are “cast away and forgotten.”
The opening reception of Invisible Eve will be held on Thursday, May 30, from 5 – 8 p.m., in the Tulsa World Gallery at the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, 1400 Classen Dr., in Oklahoma City.
For more than three and a half years, Khanfar photographed women incarcerated in Oklahoma for nonviolent crimes.
The Invisible Eve exhibit features black and white portraits of these women, which will be displayed alongside their personal messages.
Invisible Eve: Oklahoma’s incarcerated women
OKLAHOMA CITY — World-renowned photographer, Yousef Khanfar just finished a photo book titled Invisible Eve showcasing photos of incarcerated Oklahoma women.
Khanfar’s work will be on exhibit at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum
Khanfar has lived most of his life in Oklahoma.
The opening reception is May 30th.
Khanfar talks with NewsChannel 4’s Ali Meyer about his passion for Oklahoma’s incarcerated women.
Oklahoma ranks #1 in the U.S. for female incarceration.
Khanfar dedicated to spreading awareness about the issue.
Yousef Khanfar’s Amazing, Artistic Universe
By David Althouse
Yousef Khanfar’s book, “Invisible Eve,” due this spring from Rizzoli Publishing, is the latest in a line of works from the internationally renowned and award-winning photographer whose works grace galleries, cultural centers, museums and libraries worldwide. It was our pleasure to meet with Khanfar recently to discuss his life, his artistic approaches, and his awe-inspiring body of work – past, present and future.
Photography: Taking Pictures, Telling Stories
The essence of photography is writing with light. It is the visual language that we use daily and increasingly communicate with. Millions of photographs appear everyday in newspapers, magazines, books, catalogs, passports, movies, billboards, and the Internet. Whereas photography initially set out to capture and to collect, today it seeks to discover and to publish.
Yousef Khanfar: Photographer and Writer
The award-winning Palestinian-American writer and photographer Yousef Khanfar is listed as one of the world’s top photographers. He initially used photography to find his voice – literally.
“I did not speak when I was a little boy,” Khanfar explains. “A doctor suggested I get involved in something to help me express myself. My dad had a camera, so he took me to the sand dunes of Kuwait and showed me how to photograph. At age six, it was like magic to see those pictures. My dad would look at them and say they were beautiful. After seven months, I looked at the images and said my first word, ‘Beautiful.'”
Yousef Khanfar’s Book ‘Invisible Eve’ Obscures the Issue of Women’s Incarceration, Slightly
With the express intent to shine a light on the lives of women imprisoned in Oklahoma for non-violent crimes, Yousef Khanfar‘s project and book Invisible Eve should be an excellent contribution to the visual resources we can use to inform ourselves about mass incarceration. It is, but it doesn’t go far enough.
Invisible Eve has a couple of inherent problems that I think are worth pointing out. The first, to be fair, might just be a snag of language and a misinterpretation on my part, however, when I read that Khanfar asked the women to write statements of advice to younger generations so that “the fault of one being might be the salvation of another” it raised alarm bells. In the phrasing, there is a presumption of guilt that falls solely on the individual. Nothing is as simple as that and, for me, the way we warehouse non-violent offenders is as criminal as the act for which the individual is condemned and controlled.
Oklahoma Incarcerates More Women Than Any Country on Earth
Photographer Yousef Khanfar traveled to prisons throughout Oklahoma, which has the highest incarceration rate for women per capita in the world, photographing female prisoners—some alone, some with their visiting children. After the photo shoot, Khanfar asked each woman to write a few words of advice for younger generations, and documented their lives in the new book Invisible Eve (Rizzoli).
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