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Art from prison

The festival DIY Cultures 2013 presents creations arising from within prison to the outside world on 7th April.


El arte desde 02Their situation enables them to have what other artists do not: time to conceive of and execute their works. Their creativity is the fruit of their knowledge, but also an escape from their frustration, longing and from dreams, either those that are broken, or those yet to be fulfilled.

This predicament leads them to convert the prison into an art studio, where each prisoner develops their creativity through a pen or a pallet of colours. From their past and present arise paintings, poems, short stories and histories, combining quality and originality.

This excellent work will be shown on 7th April as part of the art festival DIY Cultures 2013, a platform to demonstrate the independent spirit, autonomy and the other side of these unknown artists.

Events also include a series of conferences and debates on unemployment and on how creativity develops behind cell bars.

The man in charge of conducting this debate will be Marek Kazmierski, editor-in-chief of Not shut up Magazine of Prison Writing & Art and chief editor, translator, professor and manger of the department of Diversity at HMYOI Feltham.

At the same time, he is the founder of the non-profit magazine Off_Press and a member of the steering committee of English Pen Readers & Writers programme.

El arte desde 03For her part, the journalist Nicki Jameson will talk about the ways prisoners write against the penal system and how to use official and unofficial publications and to transmit the message to the outside.

She is also an activist for Prisoners Rights Activist and the co-author of Strangeways 1990, a book that pulls together the disturbing activities that took place from 1st to 25th April 1990 under the roof of Strangeways prison (Manchester).

The riot ended with the murder of a prisoner and 194 people injured (147 prison employees and 47 prisoners).

Finally, the artist Hamja Ahsan will present ‘Nausea’, a fanzine co-written together with his brother and will talk about the texts written by the prisoners in solitary confinement, as well as an artistic anthology of American prisoners and how it helps them to make progress.

The event takes places on 7th April from 12pm until 6pm in the foyer of Rich Mix (35-37 Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6LA, London).

For more information, visit:


(Translated by Daniela Fetta)

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