the portuguese prison photo project – an exhibition about photographical insights into Portuguese prisons
From 19th April until 1st September 2024 at Museu de Portimão. (Portimão, Algarve region)
Days until the opening of the exhibition
photo: Luis Barbosa, 2017
Photographer and teacher at the Instituto Português de Fotografia IPF Porto | born in 1975 in Porto, Portugal | recipient of the award of the S.A.P. for best work of photography 2017 | www.luisbarbosaphotography.com
Specializes in social and cultural photo documentation. He has shown his photographs in various exhibitions and gives insights of his approach of photography on his website and blog. He trained at the IPF Porto, where he now teaches photography. Asked to participate in this project, he was very enthusiastic. In his black and white pictures of the prisons visited, he wanted to put the emphasis on atmosphere and ambiance.
„As I never entered a prison before, I was pleased to be soon allowed to discover a new, hidden world, but also aware that participating would bring some emotional charge.“
Peter M. Schulthess
Photographer SBF*, specialized in architectural photography, particularly of prisons | born in 1966 in Basel, Switzerland
His first photographic experience with a prison was in the old penitentiary of Basel at the beginning of the 2000s. It led to his lasting interest in prison photography. Documenting detention places became a long term project as a photographer and author. Next to the prisons of Switzerland, he visited and photographed facilities in Germany and in Portugal.
*Member of the Swiss Professional Photographers and Film Creators SBF.
“This project brought me to a country I had never visited before. What would I see and what would I be allowed to photograph? Which pictures shall we be allowed to show?”
Part 1, Overview
Curated by Professor Maria José Moutinho Santos | Prison historian | CITCEM – University of Porto
The historical photographs presented were taken between 1876 and 1974, and belong to the collections of several state archives. These photographs, which were chosen from a universe of several hundred, provide a counterpoint to the contemporary images of Peter Schulthess and Luis Barbosa. If the latter ones reflect two different perspectives, the historical pictures were the result of different insights, shot in political, penal and prison contexts that largely differ from the current one.
"The very diversity of these images’ contents and contexts – which are of an unexpected documental richness – transformed my contribution within this project into a remarkable personal experience."
Part 2: Political Prisons
Curated by Professor Luis Farinha | Historian | Nova University Lisbon
On the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution which marked the end of the dictatorship known as the Estado Novo (“Salazar dictatorship”), we are showing for the first time as part of our project photographs of the special prisons and concentration camps for political prisoners for the period 1926 to 1974 – in Portugal and the colonies.
“More than ever, it is important to show the reality of dictatorial regimes which use violence, imprisonment and torture to intimidate opponents and critics.”
Photo: Peter Schulthess, 2023
19 April – 1st September 2024