Carabanchel Prison

Prisons, Hospitals and Masions have always had a distinct eerie presence about them, once  they have been vacated and left to rot. There is also a large influx of Urban Explorer’s content surrounding these types of buildings, which has inevitably diluted the impact of the buildings through photographic presentation.

Jean-Yves Gargadennec visited Carabanchel prison, Madrid, and had a guided tour which provoked feelings similar to that of the previous inmates: “I felt confined by the repetition of bars and doors”.

carabanchel prison

The clean, minimal editing approach to documenting this building is refreshing, compared to the numerous filters, high contrast and HDR effects Urban Explorers use. Gargadennec captured the raw feeling with method, using a box camera.

Gargadennec not only photographed the building and its rooms in a simple documentary format, but he went further than the typical Urban Explorers method and met some of the victims of the prisoners. This gave a lot mroe feeling and depth to the series of images, in comparison to Urban Explorers standing in their own photos, or photographing each other.


It seems Gargadennec wanted to express the initial feelings he felt, upon visiting the prison, with his audience rather than just photographing an abandonned building for personal pleasure, and using the images as accolades to show off their explorations.