Entry Title: "The Other Home"
Name: Marina Paulenka , Croatia
Category and Expertise: Deeper Perspective, Student


Entry Description: “The Other Home” is documentary photography project in which I show a female prison inmates through the justice system at the penitentiary in Pozega, Croatia, and way of life in it, where I question the issue of freedom, surveillance, home and otherness. Pozega Penitentiary is the only female penitentiary in Croatia where over 130 prisoners serve a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months and up. The project consist of 40 images in total.

Story: “The Other Home” is documentary photography project in which I show a female prison inmates through the justice system at the penitentiary in Pozega, Croatia, and way of life in it, where I question the issue of freedom, surveillance, home and otherness. Pozega Penitentiary is the only female penitentiary in Croatia where over 130 prisoners serve a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months and up. In Croatia the valid law, Execution of the Prison Sentence, states that photographing or recording inmates are allowed only in the manner in which they cannot be identified After arduous negotiations that lasted several months, I received a rejection to photograph prisoners, from behind or in silhouette, so in a way that does not reveal the identity, as well as standing in the law. Therefore, I decided to photograph interiors of prison. I spent one year with inmates. All the photos I had to give the authorities for verification. So, here we can open discourse about double closed control - them inside and me outside. It is taboo in our country to being a mother and being a prisoner. I’m examining what ‘They’ represent and what ‘They’ don’t represent to the rest of the community. Given that historical reductive forensic portraits delete all of their representation except criminal identity, my photographs depict the existing scenes of women’s rooms, dorms, cells and bathrooms and ‘private’ and ‘personal’ stuff. In my work The Other Home I try to critically reassess and review the adequacy of supervision, control data and the law in society as well as the concept of freedom inside and outside the supervisory institutions, which I associate with the family home, models which operate on the principle of ‘re-education of women’. My photographs show the way of life of women - mothers who, as prisoners, represent the ‘Other’ and crime, which is not ‘Other’ as such, but is, in fact, a component of a wider society which can’t be immediately identified. According to some feminist theories, the central social scene where a woman is simultaneously the subject and object of control is certainly the family home. If the home looks like a prison, how do we observe a public institution in which inmates serve sentences of imprisonment?

About the Artist:

Marina Paulenka was born in Vinkovci, Croatia, in 1985. She received a MA in Graphic Design from Faculty of Graphic Arts, University of Zagreb. Currently, she is in her final year at the MA photography program of the Cinematography Department at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb. She is a member of the artists’ associations Croatian Association of Visual Artists and Croatian Association of Designers. She is involved in organisation of Organ Vida International Photography Festival Zagreb. She won the Dean's award for the academic year 2013/14 and the Special Rector's Award for team project library edition 'Architectural Dialogues 21 | 21 | 21' for 2013. She was winner of Photonic Moments Portfolio Review 2014 at Month of Photography in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She was nominated for Erste Fragments 2014, ESSL ART AWARD CEE 2015, and T-HT@MSU 2015 Award for croatian contemporary art, NEU/NOW festival and Athens Photo festival. Screenings and work presentations at Aleppo Photo Festival, Backlight, Photonic Moments, MOB Format festival. She has exhibited in numerous exhibitions in Croatia and abroad. Lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia.