My name is Seline Fröling, Dutch by origin however my surname or place of birth may suggest. In 2014, I completed my university education with a research work on a humane prison model. This work was the capstone of my alma mater as it combined my interest in the influence of architecture on human behaviour, my passion for the fight against injustice and my believe in humane detention all in one. 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 view 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 s/he is being watched and thus induced discipline on her/himself. 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 let me dream about a different world and place myself inside it. The Chronicles in the name represents 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.