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October 2, 2009
For more than 15 years now, in between other photography projects, French photographer Klavdij Sluban has worked in juvenile prisons around the world. He conducts photography workshops with the teenagers who are imprisoned in these places, and he photographs "behind the walls" of each prison himself.
In this video interview, Sluban talks about this life-long project, and his hopes and failures with some of his students. The video is complemented by some stunning black-and-white photographs that Sluban has made over the years inside prisons from the former Soviet Union, France, Ireland, Slavador and Guatemala. If you have the bandwidth, view the HD version, full-screen. (Video length:14 min, 38 sec).
This work is intimate, disturbing and amazing, especially given the fact that most prison administrations would prefer that nobody sees what goes on inside their jails.
You can see more of Sluban's photographs, and read an earlier interview with him conducted by Peggy Amison, here in Lens Culture. And, Sluban's own website has lots more information about the full scope of his many projects: sluban.com.
Sluban is the 2009 winner of the European Book Publishers Award, which will result in a great new photo book to be published this Fall. The book is not about the prison work, but is the culmination of another long-time personal project.