First off thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to my last post.
I would like to reply to a couple of things that Pete Brook from the excellent and perfectly placed to have a view on this subject, PRISON PHOTOGRAPHY said.
Pete Says. "Ideally, we'd not live in a paparazzi world, but we do. Do authorities then - over time - phase in windowless vans or do they not assess windows in their remand transportation fleet?"
Agreed. We do live in a world of the "pap" and they are free to spend their days photography celebrities. That comes with the territory when you "Dance with the Devil" I can accept the same with the "Evil Monsters" of the tabloid world. As far as I can tell though from Graville's pictures these are your more run of the mill prisoners whether on remand or not. As I'm sure you know many of those people especially those on remand will have many social and medical problems, mental health issues dependency problems etc not to mention mis-carriages of justice. I am taking offence at a bloke with a career plan and a big DSLR taking advantage for selfish gain.
Pete you say "While acknowledging shaky ethical ground I still find this photographic document worthwhile." I can't see that at all. What is it showing us? That some members of the public are locked up and transported between jail and court, and that when confined and humiliated and when someone trys to take their picture they react in different ways, exactly the same as people do in any situation. I don't need to pull the wings off a daddy long legs to know that if you do it's fucked for flying.
You're right Pete there is lots of Photojournalism that does nothing but exploit and make some big bucks for photographers. I've heard the stories from Don McCullin about photographers photographing a person as they die rather than helping, stories from the sixties, and I often wonder why photographers keep churning out the same images time and again and anyway that's why we invented Simon Norfolk because he brings something new to the table. Thing is that for every shithead there is a genuine, if a little naive, idealist on Lightstalkers who truly believes that his picture of an orphan will be THE one to change the world. That's not what "In & Out of The Old Bailey" is about, Graville's work's not prison reform it's "Wolf Boy"
I'll finish with a story. A while back I was in line for a commission to make some work about local cemeteries, a subject that would be an absolute minefield of cliches. Myself and a friend were racking our brains to come up with a new slant on a tired subject. As we got sillier and sicker with our ideas the idea of hiding behind the grave stones and jumping out and photographing the relatives paying their respects. Could you imagine those facial expressions? Of course we would never really do such a thing and felt ashamed of ourselves for even joking about other peoples misery. Perhaps with hindsight I should have done it and submitted it to Foto8..........
As for the windows, Like Benjamin I to have spent some time on the inside of said vans, (no doubt the main reason why I hate this work) and trust me when stuck in one for over an hour you want a window. What you don't want is some cock sticking a camera through it...............