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Jan Stürmann February 19, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
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Youth Correctional Facility. Chino, California

Jan Stürmann (b. 1967, South Africa) is a photographer and multimedia producer based in Berkeley, California. He studied photography at Pretoria Technicon. His publishing credits include The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Time, Newsweek and Marie Claire. Other institutional clients include: AARP, American Friends Service Committee and Numi Tea. Most of his current work is with NGO’s, corporate and editorial clients wanting to harness the story-telling potential of multimedia.

Editor’s note: Check out Jan’s powerful piece “Solitary Confinement” in the multimedia/foundation section of his site.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was taken at the Herman Stark Youth Correctional Facility in Chino, California east of Los Angeles during a weekly Native American Sweat Lodge ceremony. This is the one place in the prison where wards, often from rival gangs, can drop their guard and experience a brief period of vulnerability and emotional honesty. The ceremony is open to everyone, irrespective of race. No blood has ever been spilled on the lodge grounds. The wards insisted I join their ceremony, which takes place in a dark lodge. Participants sit in a circle around a pile of glowing rocks. As the lodge leader threw water onto the rocks, filling the lodge with steam, prayers for strength and guidance filled the darkness.”

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