For photojournalist Gabriela Bulisova America’s incarceration system is not only a criminal justice issue, but also a human rights issue. “I wanted to look beyond the statistics and tell these people’s stories,” Bulisova told PDN. “It is perhaps the single most important civil rights issue of our time.” Bulisova explores the state of the criminal justice system through her project “Time Zone,” the story of Lashonia Etheridge-Bay, a 39 year-old woman who was granted parole in 2011 after spending 18 years in prison for the murder of two teenagers. “Time Zone” won Bulisova, who is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize of $25,000.
Bulisova met Etheridge-Bay in February of 2012 after hearing of her story through Our Place, DC, whose mission is to help women who are reentering society after serving time in prison. The two collaborated for over a year on this multimedia project, resulting in both still photographs and a 12-minute documentary. “Time Zone” is on display, along with the work of other Sondheim Artscape Prize finalists, at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore through August 11. Together with Etheridge-Bay, Bulisova is currently exploring other photography projects on subjects such as restorative justice and the relationship between mental health and incarceration.