PDN Photo of the Day

Crime and Punishment

Emily Kinni has been working on a series cataloging former execution sites in American states that have abolished capital punishment. So far, Kinni has photographed sites in fourteen of the eighteen states. Kinni began the series, “Where Death Dies,” in 2011, when she was a senior at Parsons in New York City. Her work focuses on functional spaces that have a direct affect on our emotional and psychological experiences. Kinni told PDN via email, “I have shot love hotels for a number of years, and after that I transitioned to places that were built for death…I didn’t have a lot of interest in simply photographing active execution chambers because it felt too accessible. It is through the politics of these specific execution sites that I choose to address the politics of capital punishment as a whole. I wanted to see the evolution of a place dedicated to death.” Through research—contacting historical societies, city planning offices, penitentiary offices and on occasion seeking access to homes and personal effects, Kinni wrote letters and made phone calls setting up dates to photograph the sites. “I never expected how much of this research would be owned by individual citizens, versus archives and public institutions,” she says. “A plethora of the research lead me to individuals who I later understood were the only living owners of information about these executions. It is amazing how much history surrounding this issue is on its way to being lost if it isn’t preserved.”

Posted in:



, , , ,


Comments off


Comments are closed.

Top of Page