"The first thought was: did they have the right person?"
What if the person you trusted the most committed a crime and ended up in prison? Many people cannot imagine that a relative would commit a crime. The people I met didn't think this either.
My name is Wiosna van Bon (the Netherlands, 1992). I am a Polish-Dutch photographer. In 2017, I graduated as a photographer from the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, where the project 'Family Stranger' has started.
The photo book ‘Family Stranger’
The best way to tell the story of the families of detainees is by presenting it in a photo book. In order to be able to actually publish my photo book, I am starting this crowdfunding. In addition to the images, the interviews also play an important role in the book. Family Stranger is a book, to pick up, again and again, to look at the images, read the stories and find new connections.
Buy now a postcard, a print and/or pre-order the book. There are plenty of choices! All donations contribute to covering the expenses of the production of Family Stranger. Please feel free to share this page with your family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues and I will be even more grateful. Thank you!!
More about: Family Stranger
Family Stranger is a photographic series of the families of detainees after they have discovered that a family member has committed a crime and it goes to prison. The purpose of Family Stranger is to create awareness of the struggles that families endure. The family has ethical questions to deal with and because of this, their relationships with one another can come under great pressure. A long process of re-evaluation starts. The family members will have to assess their relationship to their criminal relative and to decide whether or not they can live with what s/he has done.
“Did you not think of us?”
I noticed that this is not an easy subject for families to talk about. Most of the children I have spoken are afraid of being looked at it personally; that talking about it will lead to a greater distance between themselves and the people in their environment and therefore do not like to talk about the situation in which they have ended up. Often, adults also experience the topic as taboo, or at least very difficult. That is why this project originated. The position of these families, their struggles, asked to be told and to get the viewer's attention. I admire the strength of these families. They try to continue with their lives as positively as possible, but at the same time, they are often confronted with hard realities about the choices made by their criminal family member.
“We are on the road all day. We don't have a car. First we take the train, then a long journey by bus follows."
In this project, I show the diversity of the ways in which families deal with this situation. Through my project, I want to show that the family around and beyond the prisoner is also ‘convicted’. The members of the family can experience a kind of imprisonment in their own world. The lives of these families continue whilst the criminal enters a sort of time capsule.
"Family is a motivation to keep going."
C.V. from Family Stranger
- nominated for the shortlist Unseen Dummy Award (2018)
- nominated for the shortlist Emerging Artist Scholarship, Lucie Foundation (2018)
- exhibition at CBK in Amsterdam (from 12 April to 30 June 2018)
- first major solo exhibition in Penitentiary Institution (PI) in Vught. This exhibition consisted of a tour for visitors of prisoners and for employees of PI Vught, presented by experience expert Terry Akins and myself. The photo project achieved various media including the Algemeen Dagblad, Brabants Dagblad, Omroep Brabant, Linda Nieuws, Stadsblad Den Bosch and it was shown on Dutch television on Omroep Max, NPO 2 (see video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DTcycYSFc8 )
- solo exhibition city hall Oss (from April 18 to May 24, 2019)
This project is supported by Impulsgelden Provincie Noord-Brabant and Kunstloc Brabant.
Family Stranger will be published by The Eriskay Connection