[October 20, 2020]
“We all confront the parameters of our cage eventually. What we do when we reach those bars helps define us.” This excerpt from The Parameters of Our Cage, published in 2020 by British publisher MACK, is an apt summary of a project that developed as COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement disrupted everything. The book is about a friendship that grows through an exchange of letters between Alec Soth, a Minnesota photographer and a member of the Magnum agency, and C. Fausto Cabrera, an inmate in a Minnesota prison. It’s Cabrera’s words that are quoted above. He was the one who began the correspondence, on the pretext of his addiction to photography. What ensued was a discussion on being deprived of freedom, on the role of art, on voices that are not allowed to be heard. At the heart of it is photography – in words, in images, as a through-line. The letter writers will discuss it all (again) on Sunday, October 25, before an audience.