“See Beyond Walls” exhibition opening

Jeremie says:

They are Ainārs, Dāvis, Dzmitry, Emīls, Ilja, Ivo, Ivo, Nils, Oskars and Rainers. They are between 16 and 21 years old and live at the Cēsis Juvenile Detention Center (CAIN). We worked together in January and February 2018, talking and learning about photography in weekend workshops. They each received a simple analog camera and two films, and photographed their daily life, focusing on content, not technical skill. At the same time, I took portraits of them in locations within the prison they chose themselves. Then I asked them to name a place dear to them outside the prison walls, and travelled through Latvia to photograph landscapes that the young men couldn’t visit themselves.


Through the images, we learnt about each other. Some were eager to share, some less. I did not want to know why they were incarcerated. My idea was to bring them a kind of freedom through the camera’s viewfinder; not to remind them once more of the crime committed. It seemed a heavy burden to carry at an age when you should be building your future. Looking at the photographs led to reflection: the way we tell stories or interpret particular images says a lot about who we are.


When we begun the project, I expected it to be a collaboration between the detainees and myself. However, I soon realized there was a third partner involved – the prison itself. Perhaps naively, I had not expected to face censorship, but any closed institution enforces its own rules. New ones appeared as the project progressed. I had to develop each film within the center’s walls. The images created by the participants were scrutinized closely by the security staff – I was ordered to alter them and remove the identities of other detainees, as well as details of the environment and staff. The tool provided to alter the photographs was a knife, in which CAIN was engraved. At this moment, our work seemed irreversibly destroyed. However, the alteration of the photographs – a physical imprint of the prison environment – acted as a symbolic embodiment of the violence and control of incarceration. The three visions of one closed environment ultimately produce a more complete picture.

Fotogrāfiju izstāde
Jeremie Jung (FR)
31.08 – 30.09.2018

The exhibition is a result of the Rucka Artist Residency programme.


Thanks to the staff of CAIN, especially Head of the Resocialization Department, Igors Krivjonoks.



More news

Open call for Summer 2024 Residency

ELPA Art and Design Residency announces an OPEN CALL for residency for Summer 2024 Description of the artist residency programme The aim of the residency programme is to bring together artists from different spheres to work on sustainable building and design projects. When evaluating the residency applications for the Summer

Read more

We are on the way to a new place

For more than ten years Rucka Manor House has been a home to Rucka Artist residency. Thanks to efforts of many many people the former tuberculosis hospital became an art space loved and appreciated by both Latvian and foreign artists and guests. Over the ten years it has been home

Read more

Open Call for the 2023 residency programme coming in April

We are postponing the announcement of the open call to April. We have applied for funding from Nordic Culture Point to support the 2023 residency programme at Rucka Artist Residency. Thus, we plan to announce the open call on the first week of April (03.-09.04.2023), after we receive the news

Read more