Between May 2013 and August 2014 inmates collaborated with creative writers and artists in Dendermonde Prison.
Art was used to explore an inaccessible, unfamiliar zone. While the artist was given carte blanche to investigate unknown territory, the prisoners discovered the power of artistic expression.
Some of the creations are an expression of freshness and naivety, but many go beyond that, channelling a powerful voice and pent-up energy into raw, poetic works.
In Dendermonde Prison there was a particular reciprocity not only between inmates and artists, but also between inmates, citizens and victims and between inmates and students from the Art Academy of Dendermonde.
The cross-over with the organization Within-Without-Walls added value to the dialogue by reconciling the differing opinions of the inmates, the victims and the citizens.
On the varnishing day 22nd of January 2015 PAROL! extends this reciprocity between the works and the public.
Inmates are bringing their literary creations outside the walls. The organization De Rode Antraciet joined hands by making postcards with a selection of their poems. Discover the postcards and poem banners in Dendermonde Library.
“Not only did we work together, but we also shared ideas and experiences, love and pain through stories, word and image. Everyone understood everyone else, or at least tried to.”
“For many, prisons are a totally alien world. So we also see this project as a chance to raise people’s awareness of that world.”
Pietro Tartamella (IT), Artistic Director Cascina Macondo
“The main reason I took part to start with was to escape the awfulness of sitting in my cell. Now I even write haikus for my wife!”
“It’s not a waste of time. I found it creative just being able to express my emotions, being able to reflect and order my thoughts. It does you good to make yourself useful to society in that way.”