Marina Paulenka

Marina Paulenka was born in Vinkovci, in 1985. She received an MA in Graphic Design from the Faculty of Graphic Arts, University of Zagreb. She is currently a second-year student of the MA Photography program at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb.
Since 2008, she’s been working at the photographic association Organ Vida and managing the international photography festival under the same name, in Zagreb. In 2013, she was awarded the Special Rector's award, and in 2014, the Dean's Award for academic excellence.
In 2014, during the Month of Photography in Ljubljana, at the Photonic Moments Portfolio Review, she won the first place for the best portfolio. In 2015, she was nominated for the international Essl Art Award CEE and the Croatian Contemporary Art Award THT@MSU. She is a member of the Croatian Association of Visual Artists and the Croatian Association of Designers.

Second Home – Marina Paulenka


The Croatian Law on the execution of prison sentence states that photographing or filming prisoners is only allowed without disclosing their identity.

Considering that the historic and reductive forensic portraits depicted all but the individual’s criminal identity, through my photography, capturing the scenes of women’s rooms, dormitories, cells, bathrooms and ‘private’ and ‘personal’ things, as I found them,I show how these women live – the lives of mothers who, as prisoners, represent the ‘Others’ and crime which isn’t something ‘Other’, but is, in fact, a part of a wider society which is not immediately intelligible.

The Požega Penitentiary is the only female penitentiary in Croatia where over 130 prisoners are serving a sentence of a minimum of six months and above.

Through critical analysis, I’m trying to examine the justification for surveillance, control of information and laws within the society, as well as the concept of freedom inside and outside of the architectural structure of a supervisory institution which we are to associate with a family home, a model according to which prisons for the ‘reeducation of women’ are supposed to function.According to feminist theory, the central social arena in which womenare simultaneously subjects and objectsof surveillance is definitely their family home. If a home resembles a prison, how do we then perceive a public institution where prisoners also there to serve their prison sentences?