Richmond Justice: Stories & Portraits
February 3–March 17, 2017
This special exhibition, featuring a year-long project produced by Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren, considers the criminal justice landscape in our city. Each week in 2016, Richmond Justice revealed a new portrait and story about a Richmonder whose life was shaped in some way by the justice system. Among the profiled individuals were elected officials, artists, activists, social workers, attorneys, and family members of currently and formerly incarcerated people.
"Years of making media about incarceration have helped us to appreciate at least two essential facts: the number of people touched by the justice system is far greater than folks tend to imagine, and stories about institutions and individuals shaping one another through crime and punishment are too profound to go untold. When we think about people affected by the justice system, we are—more often than one might expect—thinking about our neighbors. To care for them requires first that we understand them, through their own words," Ayers and Warren wrote.
The exhibition features all 53 portraits photographed over the course of the year, as well as interview excerpts, a photo essay, and a short film.
Ayers and Warren manage the documentary filmmaking company Field Studio, based in Richmond. Their most recent film, An Outrage, about lynching in the American South, will premiere in spring 2017. Ayers and Warren, both trained in history, specialize in producing media at the intersection of history and social justice, with an emphasis on race, incarceration, and community. Their first film, That World is Gone: Race and Displacement in a Southern Town, won the Audience Award for Short Documentary at the 2010 Virginia Film Festival.