Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

Eastern State Penitentiary

Photo taken by Cathy Fiebelkorn of NJ.  Although I do not have a mental illness, my life has been touched by people who cope with various forms of it. Whether they be relatives, friends, co-workers, the middle school students I teach, or the unknown readers of this blog, I care deeply about understanding and supporting them.  I believe very much in the healing power of art—both in making art and in experiencing it, so I am a fan of Broken Light and am pleased to have my work be part of the collective.

About this photo: Eastern State Penitentiary was considered the world’s first true penitentiary when it opened in Philadelphia in 1829 and served as the model for more than 300 prisons worldwide.  Open for historic tours since the 90s, the penitentiary is now in a state of sustained ruin and is believed by many to be haunted.  Because of the harsh and isolated conditions the prisoners experienced, many were driven mad in this environment.  Though I enjoy photographing decayed things and find ESP’s history interesting, it is also a sad and rather spooky place and holds the weight of suffering.

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3 comments on “Eastern State Penitentiary

  1. jmgoyder
    June 11, 2012

    This is chilling.


  2. Emily
    June 13, 2012

    A pictorial of the history in decay……..great!


  3. thehappymango
    January 17, 2013

    I love photos like this one, there is just so much history there!


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