Art Is the New Black in Požega Prison

Total Croatia News

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Source: Juraj Vuglač/HDLU

Artwork improves lives of inmates of women’s prison in Požega.

For the purpose of aestheticisation and revitalization of the prison facilities, four artists, Monika Meglić, Ana Ratković Sobota, Vida Meić and Melinda Šefčić, executed visual interventions at the women’s prison in Požega, as part of the Exemplary Penitentiary project, reports HDLU on September 17, 2018.

Under the guidance of the project author Melinda Šefčić, with the aim of improving the quality of life and interpersonal relations of prisoners, creating a new, more humane and supportive environment, they redecorated an entire floor, with an emphasis on artistic interventions made in three bedrooms and a living room on the second floor of the women’s penitentiary.

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The Exemplary Penitentiary is a project of the Croatian Society of Artists (HDLU), funded by the Ministry of Justice. Its implementation began in mid-April and will last until the end of the year. The artistic interventions are just one aspect of the project, which also includes prisoner workshops led by artists Mia Maraković and Martina Miholić. The project is also accompanied by a research component, and the project results will be presented at a public event at the end of the year.

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The Exemplary Penitentiary project aims to help improve the quality of life and interpersonal relationships of prisoners and bring about the strengthening of social values, ​​as well as the re-socialization of inmates, thereby empowering them to take on responsibilities and activities in building a model prison community. Also, the project seeks to contribute to the construction and development of the prison environment, which will encourage prisoners to behave in an exemplary way and create a new perception of life in the prison community.

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By doing so, space will contribute to the creation of a new humane and supportive environment. Directly involving prisoners in the process places emphasis on the therapeutic effects which involve: changing their self-image; improving communication skills; achieving positive and fulfilled feelings; and reducing depression and anxiety among prisoners.

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Through the creative engagement of prisoners, the project will improve the prisoner programme in the field of work, training and leisure time, with a view to successful re-socialization and social integration.

Translated from HDLU.


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