At the detention center in Melun, France, about a hundred inmates work in printing and metallurgy workshops. They learn useful jobs for their release from prison. “Many of our customers are ministries,” says Alain Hochet, manufacturing manager of the printing press. He has been supervising inmates for sixteen years. “We have the Ministry of the Interior, Health, Justice …” The list of what is printed is surprising: records of police custody, shootings with black silhouettes,grounding of cars, paper work about the canteen for the prisoners and sealed tapes those who hang at the doors after the crimes, “like those seen in the police detective series on television,” says Alain Hochet.
Very few photographers and media are allowed inside the walls of the prison and no face is allowed to be photographed or shown on the photo in accordance with the French prison regulations. Sadak Souici and Arthur Frayer-Laleix were able to gain access to the cells and work places. The series projects the notion of time in prison. Working time, where inmates look like any other worker, with outfits and gestures similar to those of the outside world. And private time, where prisoners are mostly alone in front of the windows of their dark rooms.
Despite work habits and the transmission of skills, prisoners aspire to be released. The outside world throws on the walls of the prison an irretrievably attractive light. The prison area remains dark and shady while the outside world is clear as a ray of light.
Portfolio published by Médiapart in November 2019
Sadak Souici was born and raised in the Paris region in the 1980s. A professional photojournalist for a few years, he worked as a freelance photographer and freelancer and joined the Pictorium agency in 2016. His work is divided between news report and an in depth documentary film. .
His favorite themes are conflict zones, social life, environment and politics. He publishes in France and abroad: The World, The Cross, The Parisian, Mediapart, Liberation, The Guardian, Daily Mirror, Die Zeit, Der Spiegel, Russia Reporter, Libre.be, Vice, and RTS for Video Reports.