Jenn Ackerman ~ January 2013

Jen Ackerman

Jenn Ackerman is a Minneapolis, Minnesota based photographer whose focus is on documenting subcultures in the United States that are often misunderstood and overlooked. Her goal is to bring viewers into situations and stories that are rarely told.

Jenn’s will be documenting the Somali community in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her award from TheDPF. In particular, the women living in Riverside Plaza, known locally as ‘little Somalia’. She wants to give a voice to these women who are often misunderstood due to their traditional clothing and a general lack of understanding of Somali culture and religion.

“I plan to visually explore how living in Minnesota has shaped the new identity of these women who are struggling to determine how to thrive in the US but maintain much of their cultural and religious identity.”

The photos Jenn submitted with her application to TheDocumentaryProjectFund chronicled the continuous withdrawal of mental health funding, which has turned jails and prisons across the U.S. into default mental health facilities. A system designed for security is now trapped with treating mental illness and the mentally ill are often trapped inside the system with nowhere else to go. The images here were taken at the Correctional Psychiatric Treatment Unit at the Kentucky State Reformatory.

You can see more of Jenn’s work at jennackerman.com

Magazine Project. Inmates at Kentucky State Reformatory. B WIng, A Wing, C WingDate taken: Feb. 3, 2008Magazine Project. Inmates at Kentucky State Reformatory. B WIng, A Wing, C WingDate taken: Feb. 5, 2008Multiple officers wait by the door before a cell entry. \Danny Castile holds up drawings and writings he says is invaluable to the Department of Corrections and the judge who sentenced him to life.Magazine Project. Inmates at Kentucky State Reformatory. B WIng, A Wing, C WingDate taken: Feb. 3, 2008Magazine. Inmates at Kentucky State Reformatory. B WIng, A Wing, C WingDate taken: Feb. 2, 2008Magazine Project. Inmates at Kentucky State Reformatory. B WIng, A Wing, C WingDate taken: Feb. 3, 2008Correctional officers clean the room of an inmate, searching for possible weapons after he cut himself with a spork earlier that morning.Magazine Project. Mentally Ill Inmates at CPTU, Kentucky State Reformatory. B WIng, A Wing, C WingDate taken: Feb. 7, 2008CPTU - KSR