Press

Life After Life In Prison: The Bedroom Project

"Bennett is a former criminal defense attorney who *** uses photography to amplify her observations of the criminal justice system.... Bennett has created a space for each of [her portrait subjects] to reflect upon their post-release situation. They regale personal tales and they are photographed in their most personal spaces–their bedrooms.”  After Decades in Prison, Women Pose for Portraits in Their Own Rooms and Reflect, Pete Brook, Medium (Editors’ Pick) March 11, 2018

PDN Photo of the Day, February 20, 2018

Behind the Lens: Out of Prison, Into a Home of Her Own, Governing Magazine, May 2018

Photography of the Day: They spent decades in prison, and now these women have posed for portraits in their bedrooms. The idea, says their photographer, is to humanize these survivor. The Marshall Project newsletter, Opening Statement, March 15, 2018 (with a link to the Medium piece)

Lawyer, Photographer and Activist Sara Bennett Talks Prison System and Life after Parole, Merion West, July 3, 2018

Featured on the Instagram account, @everydayincarceration, February 27 – March 9, 2018

Eldridge & Co: Sara Bennett, photographer, and Karen Ely, former inmate, CUNY TV, March 21, 2018

LZ Sunday Paper, “Arts, Sports & Pop Culture,” Life After Life in Prison: The Bedroom Project, February 25, 2018

New Exhibit Explores FDR’s Freedoms, The Main Street Wire, June 24, 2018

 

Life After Life in Prison

[Ms. Bennett] watched as [the women] explored their new freedom and dealt with the lingering restrictions on it, from mandatory drug tests to curfews.— How Newfound Freedom Feels,  New York Times, Album, July 10, 2016

Bennett’s utterly unsentimental photos also reflect her desire, after spending 30 years as a criminal defense lawyer, to challenge the common assumption that these women are dangerous, unredeemed or unforgiveable. — Powerful Portraits Capture Life After Decades in Prison, Women in the World, October 14, 2015

People are more than their worst act. That’s the founding principle for an ongoing photography project by Sara Bennett, a former attorney documenting the stories of four convicted murderers working to rebuild their lives — Photos: Four Women Convicted of Murder Begin to Move on After Prison, PBS News Hour/Art Beat, October 28, 2015

“The longer you’re an attorney the more serious your cases are,” [Bennett] said, recalling a 16-year-old client who was sentenced to life without parole for murder. “I never forgot him. When you send people away for life,’’ she says, “you’re saying there’s no hope. That they’ll never be rehabilitated.” And yet, she adds, “People are more than their worst act. People are complicated.” — So This is What A Murderer Looks Like, The Marshall Project, September 11, 2015

The frankness of the photo makes you lean in.... The images are unblinking in their gaze. They are without judgement. Or excuse. They are of the moment, in service as intimate eyewitness to the mundanities, struggles and milestones that fill the every day of a person returning to life on the outside. Defense Attorney Turned Photographer Captures ‘Life After Life in Prison,' Mass Appeal, April 14, 2017

There really is life after life in prison.11 Photos that Show What Female Ex-Cons “Look” Like, Revelist.com, January 19, 2017

Life After Life in Prison makes visible what we don’t see; the people who sit next to us on the bus, beside us in line at Duane Reade, preparing our lunch at the diner around the corner. They are the tip of the iceberg and represent the thousands still inside. — OffBeat: Sara Bennett’s Life After Life in Prison, New York Natives, September 28, 2105

The room was hot, but students, faculty and outsiders alike sat and stood wherever they could, all attentive and fascinated.... “I think students are hungry for real things,” said [Dean] Kessler, “things that bring what they’re learning in the classroom in contact with something concrete.”  — Humanizing the Incarcerated: “Life After Life at the Passage Gallery, The Purchase Beat, September 16, 2015

Bennett's intervention reads as minimal. The women are depicted in their homes, at work, church, and intimate moments with family.  Through the photos, Bennett tells a powerful story of transformation and resilience despite the reality of successive closed doors. Visions of Confinement at Hunter East Harlem Gallery, Gallery Girl, NYC, July 2016

Eldridge & Co: Sara Bennett’s “Life After Life in Prison.” CUNY TV, September 16, 2015

This Instagram Account Shatters Stereotypes about Incarceration, Washington Post, June 3, 2016

New York Art Exhibit Hopes to Spark Conversation on Female Incarceration, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, July 21, 2016

LZ Sunday Paper, “Pick of the Week: So This is What a Murderer Looks Like,” September 2015

Sara Bennett’s Life After Life in Prison, Morning Show hosted by Mimi Rosenberg, WBAI Radio, April 13, 2016