Made in Prison

255059_2136787497790_4000709_nPhotos above belong to the project: Renovating Roumye Jail with Colors ‘2011’

“Roumye Juvenile Prison is renowned to be the worst maintained prison in Lebanon (regarding hygienic/sanitary conditions, human rights…)”. The painting project “Renovating Roumye With Colors” brought light to the young detainees and thanks to 2 paint companies (Mictel & Tinol), to (Akil for donating sports shoes) and to Ms.Diane Mkattaf, it was possible for the project to be born with the involvement of 2 graffiti artists. A slogan that Roumieh young detainees have chosen as a result of the completed / as a coronation of the renovation workshop of the Juvenile Aisle courtyard; an activity which has been conceptualized in collaboration with Visual and Performing Arts Association “VAPA”. It’s worth mentioning that this event wouldn’t have come to life without the determination, enthusiasm and courage of the youth who have sincerely expressed  what they have done using words such as “!!!!إي والله لنخربا بالألوان” or “We will definitely destroy Roumieh with Colors”.The planning process for this project has began around late October 2010 with a general outline which has been accelerated intensively beginning November 2010 and for the period of three consecutive months due to the efforts of the team made of more than twenty young detainees. Finally, many thanks go out to every single individual who helped in the accomplishment of this philanthropic project! Certificates were distributed to inmates.

1 Renovating Roumieh with Colors-edRoumié en voit de toutes les couleurs!             “بدنا نولّع روميه بالألوان”!Les jeunes de l’aile des mineurs à la prison de Roumié ont choisi ce slogan afin de couronner un atelier de réforme esthétique de la cour externe de leurs locaux, parrainée par La Fondation Père Afif Osseiran, en coopération avec l’association VAPA.Ce projet n’aurait pas pu voir le jour sans la volonté, le courage et l’entrain des jeunes. Un groupe de travail d’une vingtaine de mineurs ont en effet travaillé sans relâche pendant trois mois, depuis Novembre. La planification du projet avait commencé fin Octobre avec la mise en place des lignes directrices.

 Launching of the index “Ngos Working in Jails” at Sagesse University, including the exhibition of inmates artworks produced within the framework of Cinermarena project.

 Autograff (auto expression through graffiti) is a project that was part of “VIEWS FROM WITHIN, CINEMARENA 2009- 2010” in the framework of the Emergency ROSS Program funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Italian Cooperation implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Social Affairs in Lebanon.

The Project which was held in 13 prisons all over Lebanon.  Prisoners took courses of graffiti through several workshops with the aim that they can later on use the art in their professions (shoe-smith…).  After the learning phase too place, many Graffiti artists had the generosity to reproduce the artwork done on paper in jails and the first exhibition took place in March 2011 at Sagesse University during the launch of the “Reference guide of NGOs and institutions working in Lebanese Prisons”  in an attempt to spread awareness about the prison’s conditions.

“This was a one of a kind activity that miraculously in my opinion was accepted for implementation. The team had to wait several months in order to receive a one year permit to visit most of the prisons in Lebanon. We also faced many restrictions regarding the use of certain tools that were needed in order to give the proper street art techniques. Our first concessions started when we agreed to limit the use of the necessary props…Not to mention that the trainers were chocked by the prisons conditions and we had to find a lady graffitist at the last minute to enter the Baabda prison for women. Many inmates were interested by our intervention but many also were too weak to give it the energy it needed.

Autograff was conceptualized and managed by Kiki Bokassa.

Execution: Vapa Association Team in collaboration with Rami Mouallem, Racelle Izhak, Elie Zaarour, Kabrit and Oras.

Booklet Design: Deborah Phares.

Spray Cans used for the reproductions were purchased from MTN.

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