My name is Seline Fröling, Dutch by origin but you can find me all over the globe. In 2014, I graduated university in Criminological Research with a publication on a humane prison model. This work was the capstone of my alma mater as it combines my three main interests all in one: the influence of architecture on human behaviour, my passion for the fight against injustice, and my believe in humane detention. With this blog, I want to continue my research work and share insights on the matter of humane detention.
About this blog
The Panopticon Chronicles is a place for me to express my thoughts on prisons. Using an investigative approach, I address current issues and raise awareness about the functioning of prison institutions.
It was during an anthropology course on power structures that I first came into contact with Jeremy Bentham‘s Panopticon, reading about it in Foucault’s Discipline and Punish (1977). The Panopticon is a prison where, through a circular architecture, all prisoners could be seen but never know if they are being seen. Consequently, the prisoner would behave like they are being watched and thus induced discipline on themselves. Soon after, I visited a Panopticon prison in the Netherlands to see and possibly experience its workings for myself. Since then, I have a huge interest in prison models and its structural influence on the behaviour and experience of its inhabitants.
My favourite books while growing up were beyond a doubt The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. The Narnia stories accompanied me to a different world and reflect on the one we are living in right now. Chronicles thus are stories and a different worldview from what seems to be the norm. Also, this blog uses a journalistic approach to discuss current events revolving around prisons, from news articles to its representation in popular media.