What is the status of the photograph in the context of imprisonment? Can a dossier of collected files and documents help us arrive at the essence of incarceration when questions of visibility, ethics and aesthetics intersect? Two recent publications touch on this dilemma in seemingly opposite ways. One is related to the bureaucracy of an institutional complex that surrounds the concept of custody; the other is more concerned with the emotional aspects of being put in isolation. Both, however, unshackle their content from a confined perception.
The Archive of Public Protests is a collection of photographs documenting visual traces of social activism and grassroots initiatives in Poland, opposing unjust political decisions and, most importantly, helping to underscore breaches of democratic norms and human rights – an unfortunate and dangerous sign of our times.