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?