This week, capture something broken.

Image by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

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Beijing-based artist Ai Weiwei had an exhibition on Alcatraz, the famous prison-turned-US National Park in San Francisco Bay. His artwork recognized dissidents and activists who, like him, have been detained and deprived of their rights.

Since Ai Weiwei is not allowed to leave China, he conceptualized this Alcatraz show from Beijing; he has never stepped foot on the island.

He transformed parts of the former penitentiary into a space that challenged our perceptions of freedom and imprisonment: in one room, a massive colorful dragon kite and other winged creatures floated across the space, which was at once beautiful and sad, as they were stuck inside, unable to break free.

The exhibition also played with and incorporated the walls in Alcatraz: old, dirty, broken. I peeked through panes of glass and watched other visitors, like a prison guard. Other times, it felt like I was being watched. The broken windows and walls were tools for and symbols of surveillance — which Ai Weiwei often comments on — and created interesting angles, too:

For this challenge, capture something broken: an old window, a vintage sign, a toy never fixed, a contemplative friend. Or go deeper: find beauty in something broken.

Happy photographing!

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