the portuguese prison photo project – an exhibition about photographical insights into Portuguese prisons
Photographer and trainer at the Instituto Português de Fotografia IPF Porto | born in 1975 in Porto, Portugal
Specializes in social and cultural photo documentation. His interest in photography led him very early into the darkroom where he experimented with a black and white technique which he still favours. He has shown his photographs in various exhibitions and in his blog. He trained at the IPF Porto, where he today teaches photographers. Asked to participate in this project, he was very enthusiastic.
In his black and white pictures of the prisons visited, he presents the point of view of detainees first and their feelings.
„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, 15 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.
During his visits of Portuguese prisons, he was accompanied by Gilda Santos of the University of Porto.
He is a member of the Swiss Professional Photographers and Photo Designers 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?”
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."
9 September - 3 December 2017