A Midsummer Night's Dream by Zapaleni.org at the Opole Lubelskie Penitentiary. Reflections of the Project Coordinator
Captain Łukasz Pruchniak, correctional educator of the Opole Lubelskie Penitentiary talks about the work of inmates, officers and Lublin artists on the production of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night's Dream as part of the Zapaleni.org project, which he coordinated. He recalls his experience during the presentation of the performance in various Polish cities in 2012-2013. Rehearsals and theatre workshops provide opportunities for building interpersonal relationships, and the artistic aspect, though important, seems to be less significant. The author discusses the difficulties that arise from both the attitudes of the prison inmates and the stereotypical antagonism between artists and prison staff. He believes that barring prison staff from participating in art projects may be dangerous. Theatre activities in prisons and pre-trial detention centres should ensure that the inmates do not see the penitentiary staff as tormentors. They are supposed to be the prisoners’ allies in their work on themselves, leading to finding the right direction in life. Art projects realized in prisons are also an effective way of breaking stereotypes of prisoners and officers, which are pervasive in Polish society. Work on A Midsummer Night’s Dream is an example of multidimensional, positive collaboration and proves that the community of prison inmates, staff and artists is not a utopia, and that it can happen. The text ends with insightful reflection on rehabilitation, for which the prison theatre is an important tool. At the same time Pruchniak emphasizes that this is actually socialization, because the majority of prisoners have not been socialized so far.
92-102A Midsummer Night's Dream by Zapaleni.org at the Opole Lubelskie Penitentiary - reflections of the project coordinator
Zakład Karny w Opolu Lubelskim
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