When a prison sentence is issued, the entire family suffers.

“It’s like we’re sentenced too,” says Marine Morillon. She travels an hour and a half on her day off every Sunday to visit her boyfriend, incarcerated at Rennes Vezin’s prison for men in the North of France. At the Rainbow House, a small hotel in the North of France, people come from all over country to visit incarcerated loved ones.

The French inmate population has multiplied by 2.3 in the last forty years alone. Today, there are 68,500 incarcerated persons in France, most of whom are parents, husbands, wives, partners, siblings. Incarceration is a privation of liberty, and experts say it should not result in a privation of parenthood and partnership. Yet, long sentences served in prisons often faraway from home weigh on relationships.

While incarceration is a much talked-about topic in the United States, it is almost absent from political and social discourse in France. In fact, research shows that when a parent is incarcerated, his/her children under the age of 5 will often have the truth hidden from them. This project, Loving Still, seeks to create a discussion around imprisonment and its consequences and, in doing so, to heal families from the shame associated with having a family-member in prison.

For this project, collaborate with inmates’ loved ones to craft a photograph that, through light, posing, and place, evokes their internal state. By portraying the family-members in a cinematic way, almost like fiction, I push the representation of a topic that has mostly been photographed in a traditional “documentary style,” or over-dramatized and misrepresented in mainstream media. 

(description en français ->)

For questions, or if you'd like to share your story please send me an email at marianne.t.barthelemy@gmail.com or give me a call at 001.347.439.1022


Lorsqu’un détenu est condamné, c’est toute une famille qui souffre.

“C’est comme si nous aussi on était condamné,” me dit Marine M. Elle fait un trajet d’une heure et demi chaque dimanche pour rendre visite à son compagnon, en détention au Centre Pénitentiaire de Rennes-Vezin en Bretagne.

En France, la population carcérale a été multipliée par 2.3 ces dernières quarante années. Aujourd’hui, il y a 68 500 personnes sous écrou en France, une grande partie d’entre eux étant des parents, des maris, des femmes. Quel est l’impact d’une incarcération sur leur famille? Sur leur relation avec leur(s) enfant(s)?

Pour mon projet de thèse, AIMER, ATTENDRE, je travaille avec des familles de détenu(e)s pour étudier l’impact psychologique d’une détention sur les proches.

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