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Family Stranger

Photography: Wiosna van Bon

Texts: quotes interviewees

Design: Rob van Hoesel


Book of the month - June 2021







The book 'Family Stranger' does not have a photo on the cover. There is no introductory text, not even on the back. The book is a story with images, in which photos on the left page are combined associatively with photos on the right page.



A Japanese bond creates mystery. This is reinforced by the lengthwise folded pages that reveal a text when opened. As if something has to be hidden. As if the subject is precarious.


We were still asleep when the doorbell rang at six in the morning. Suddenly the house was filled with policeman. I heard he arresting officer say my husband was arrested on suspicion of involvement in a murder (…)

At first all I could think was, do they have the right person? (…)


This is the first (hidden) quote in the book, from a woman whose husband was arrested. Further on are texts from children, parents and grandparents. Feelings of disbelief, sadness and shame are reviewed.


Documentary books that shed light on the prison system or that record the daily rhythm of a detainee already existed. However, photographer Wiosna van Bon does not focus on the convict but on the relatives left behind. By placing images from the prison next to associative images from the family's environment, she makes it clear that relatives of detainees are equally convicted. On the basis of this project, Wiosna van Bon wants to open up the subject for discussion.


The photo book was published in 2020 by The Eriskay Connection and is for sale (€ 32.00) at Pennings Foundation, where a selection from the Family Stranger project will be presented on the Talent Wall in the coming months.


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