the portuguese prison photo project – an exhibition about photographical insights into Portuguese prisons
From 19th April until 15th September 2024 at Museu de Portimão.
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, 21 years ago. It led to his lasting interest in prison and correctional photography. Documenting detention places and prison life became a long term project as a photographer and author. Next to the prisons of Switzerland, he visited facilities in Germany and now in Portugal.
*He is a member of the Swiss Professional Photographers and Film Creators SBF.
“This project is a step into an unknown world, in a country I had never visited before. What would I see and what would I be allowed to photograph? Which pictures would I be allowed to show?”
Part 1, Overview
Curated by Professorin 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
On the 59th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution which marked the end of the authoritarian dictatorship know as the Estado Novo (“Salazar dictatorship”), we are showing for the first time as part of our project pictures of the special prisons and concentration camps for political prisoners from the period up from 1933 to 1974 – in Portugal and the colonies.
Photo: Peter Schulthess, 2023
19 April – 1st September 2024