Culture / Art Republik


Convicts write letters of fear and hope to their younger selves in a poignant photographic series

Mar 05, 2014 | By Staff Writer

In a poignant photographic series, photographer Trent Bell aims to flesh out the complexities and personal identities of prisoners beyond their ‘captive state’. Reflect sees Bell superimpose portraits of prisoners onto letters that they had written to their younger selves. The letters expressed fears and regrets punctuated with hope, inspiration and words of guidance. The project allowed the prisoners to share their stories and hopefully, find catharsis in the process. One letter from an inmate Jamie reads “Life is far from over, Jamie. The mistakes of the past are the mistakes we will learn from. I say it today and I will say it tomorrow ‘Don’t do what I did.’” Bell was inspired to start this project after learning of his friend’s incarceration and began to consider the stories behind the criminals: of who they were before their life-defining moments and how they got there. 


Reflect 1

Reflect 2

Reflect 3

Reflect 4

Photo Credits: Trent Bell

To find out more about the Reflect Project, visit here!

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