“Grace Before Dying” tells the emotional story of an extraordinary breakthrough in humanity that has helped to transform one of the most dangerous maximum security prisons in the United States, the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, into one of the least violent. By allowing volunteer inmates to comfort fellow inmates who are elderly or terminally ill, a new hospice program helps convicts assert and affirm their humanity in an environment designed to isolate and punish.
Award-winning photographer Lori Waselchuk not only shows a culture of caring and compassion that challenges stereotypes of the incarcerated, but also provides an intimate and personal perspective on what long-term and life sentences signify for those inside. The show is a traveling exhibition that accompanies Waselchuk’s book, Grace Before Dying, published by Umbrage Editions in June 2011.
Lori Waselchuk is a documentary photographer whose photographs have appeared in magazines and newspapers worldwide, including Newsweek, LIFE, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. She has reproduced photographs for several international aid organizations including CARE, the UN World Food Program, Médecins Sans Frontières, and the Vaccine Fund. She is a recipient of the Aaron Siskind Foundation’s 2009 Individual Photographer Fellowship, a 2008 Distribution Grant from the Documentary Photography Project of the Open Society Institute, the 2007 PhotoNOLA Review Prize, and the 2004 Southern African Gender and Media Award for Photojournalism. Waselchuk was also a nominee for the 2009 Santa Fe Prize for Photography, a finalist in the 2008 Aperture West Book Prize, and a finalist in the 2006 and 2008 Critical Mass Review.