Welcome to our new series #instaxSpotlight. Here we’re excited to showcase and celebrate creators using instax photography as a tool to tell their stories and document their projects. At instax HQ we’re always so inspired by the creativity and meaningfulness of the stories told using instax and we’re excited to provide a platform to share instax creator’s work. We hope you enjoy reading about these creators’ work as much as we do!
The Good Memories Project
‘The Good Memories’ project by Jadwiga Brontē explores the role of photography in rehabilitating female prisoners and lowering the risk of reoffence by creating positive memories of their motherhood in Mother & Baby Units.
Brontē, an award winning social photojournalist, explores relationships between human identity and politics through visual representation. Her work has taken her across the globe documenting people on the margins of society, humanizing the outcasts shunned by the world.
Creating physical memories
Through this project working with mothers in prison, Brontē wanted to create ‘perfect’ memories of motherhood and create physical reminders triggering them: photographs. She seeks to show that therapeutic photography can strengthen parent-child relations, build the mother’s self-esteem and help to develop the prisoner’s self-identity as a responsible and caring mother, and not a criminal, to lower the risk of re-offending.
Photography was chosen as the key medium for this project as through much research it has been found that it is possible to use photography to introduce false details into people’s memories, shaping their perception of the past. Specifically, Brontē looked to investigate if it is possible to capture, despite the challenging circumstance, their good memories of happiness and save them for the future. Despite the photographs being taken in a curated environment, it is believed possible to ‘plant’ these memories for both the mother and the child, affecting how they perceive themselves – and each other – going forward.
Using a ‘snapshot’ approach, utilising instant photography, Brontē tried to capture the essence of the maternal bond. Instant photography was chosen as the best option and most favoured by the mothers featured in the project. One of the key reasons behind this was that the photographs could stay in the prison – so the mothers could look at them, as well as make baby albums and sketchbooks. From a photography point of view, instant photography also seemed more raw, real and natural, fitting to capture the spontaneous moments between mothers and their children.
Discover more about Jadwiga’s project here.