Throughout our careers we, Titus Kaphar, visual artist and filmmaker, and Reginald Dwayne Betts, memoirist, poet and attorney, have used our varied mediums to confront the abuses of the criminal justice system. Collectively and individually, our work challenges ingrained misconceptions about people with criminal records through an exploration of the intersection of commerce and incarceration. “The Redaction,” our first artistic collaboration, advances this work by focusing on the ways that state and federal court systems exploit and erase the poor and incarcerated from public consciousness.
We approach the work with the whispered stories of family members and friends in our heads. How does one create art out of a deeply personal space when it has now become recognized as an extraordinarily public problem? As leaders in our communities, we seek to strengthen our message and further develop as powerful voices in this important national conversation.