Youthful Offender 1

Daily Palette Double Feature

Youthful Offender 1, archival inkjet print, 16" x 26", 2013

Zora Murff was born in Des Moines and currently resides in Cedar Rapids.  He attends the University of Iowa where he is pursuing a BFA in Photography.  Zora has a background in social services and has a deep interest in documentary photography.  He is currently completing a documentary project of Linn County Juvenile Detention and Diversion Services, delving into the collocation of the concepts of control, privacy, development, and rehabilitation.

About the artist's work:

"Linn County Juvenile Detention and Diversion Services were established to provide monitoring and rehabilitation services to youths while they are on probation.  I have spent the last year working in the juvenile criminal justice system, and this project is the product of a conversation I had with a youth regarding his ankle monitor:

'I want this thing off today...this fucking thing is an invasion of privacy, and goes against my well being.'

He was angry, and at the time of the conversation I understood this at a very basal level.  However, the more I thought about his anger, the more I pondered the concepts of privacy and control in the juvenile corrections system and the role I play inside of those concepts.  I interact with these youths at a critical point in their lives where control is an integral part of the day-to-day.  My job is to be a consequence, to insert myself into their lives in an attempt to control and correct adolescent malfeasance, while the adolescents themselves are struggling with exerting control over their development into who they will be as adults.

Photographing these individuals is an appraisal of their experiences in the juvenile corrections system; an attempt to access the crux of how the system aims to work towards providing a sense of empowerment through these broader concepts of privacy, control, development, and rehabilitation to instill a true sense of correction."

More of Zora's work can be seen in the Small Works Show at The Chait Galleries Downtown in Iowa City (on display now through January 6, 2014).

Zora Murff's website

This page was first displayed
on December 12, 2013

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