Foto: Peter Schulthess, 2017

The conferences 2024


19 and 20 April in Portimão
and at the end of October in Porto

Two conferences are planned as part of the portuguese prison photo project.

A first is related to the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution of 24 April 1974, and its influence on prisons and detention regimes in Portugal. It is linked to the inauguration of the new exhibition of the portuguese prison photo project in Portimão and will continue the following day.

The second conference, planned for the end of October 2024, will focus on prison systems and penitentiary architecture.

Prisons and Regimes of Detention in Portugal: before and after 1974

19 and 20 April 2024

Auditorium of the Museu de Portimão.

On the day of the inauguration of the new exhibition of the portuguese prison photo project, on Friday, 19 April 2024, a first series of talks addresses the topic of prisons, detention regimes and life in prison before the 1974 revolution. Three presentations deal with the political prisoners and their living conditions: a first one relates to the prisoners from Algarve, a second one gives the floor to a resistance fighter and contemporary witness, and a third one considers more generally prison regimes for political prisoners during the time of the dictatorship. Finally, a look is taken at the prison conditions of common law prisoners before the revolution.

In the second part of this first day, the project ideas and goals as well as the previous exhibitions are presented, and an introduction given into the new exhibition. Then, the two photographers talk about their approach and their pictures. Finally, some results of a research project on visitors carried out during two previous exhibitions are commented.

The inauguration of the exhibition will take place at 7 p.m.

On the second day of the conference, on 20 April 2024, the focus is put on the influence of the 1974 revolution on prison conditions and the evolution of the prison regime in Portugal. In addition to representatives of the Portuguese prison administration, speakers of national and international monitoring bodies (NPM; CPT; SPT) will present their views on the more recent evolution of détention in Portugal.

A conference about Prison Systems and Prison Architecture

End of October 2024

University of Porto

As one of the axioms of the portuguese prison photo project is to protect the personalities of those deprived of their liberty, the 2024 exhibition, as the previous ones presented in 2017, 2019, and 2022, focuses on the buildings and the living spaces. The photographs show these spaces where persons have to live and are required to share their lives in cramped surroundings, unfriendly cells, and environments where they must stay for long periods. These photographs explore lived architecture, question how prison architecture is conceived, and point toward the importance of researching the design of new prisons.

Given this assumption, this conference aims to explore the relationship established between prison architecture and design and some central elements inherent to the functioning and experience of prison systems, such as the process of adaptation to incarceration, the emotions experienced by inmates, or the impact that these factors have on execution of sentence and prison management. This conference is guided by the desire to conduct a comparative analysis of the carceral experience in different countries regarding these elements.

In parallel, it is planned to project a photo show of the past four exhibitions in the School of Criminology, Faculty of Law of the University of Porto’s “simulated prison.”

The conference is organized at the Faculty of Law of the University of Porto by Gilda Santos, Cândido da Agra, Mélanie Mesquita Tiago and Daniel Fink.