Make-Up and Make-Do Fashions: Edyta Ganc’s Masterful Portraits in a Polish Women’s Prison

Prison Photography



“The women have different histories but they all have one thing in common — they all just wanted to have nice portraits,” read the email from Edyta Ganc.

Well, Edyta nailed it. Ganc’s portraits are nice. But, they’re much more than nice; they’re rather formidable. They emerge from a straightforward approach to the prison by Ganc and the simplest of aims. The variety among the portraits is impressive. I immediately emailed Ganc insistent that I share the series, titled Borderline, here, with you.

“I helped them to look attractive by inviting a professional make-up artist,” continued the email. “I also prepared clothes for them … mainly from my private wardrobe.”

Ganc has succeeded twice over; for the women prisoners, she has made beautiful portraits, and for us, she has made poignant portraits to mull over. Ganc’s moments are noticeably heavy and to capture that is a…

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