Does anyone swap art with prisoners (either prisoners of conscience or others) or other "outsiders" to society? I'm really keen to hear about how mailart is applied to these marginalised groups. I think that it has huge potential for rehabilitation of prisoners and in art therapy, as well as bringing a ray of light into some lives.
This is a really good point.
+' we' have so much to receive from 'them'
i did go art class once + the teacher did a lot of work in 2 prisons near Manchester - she d have been good contact - a wonderful woman --- but i don't now see her.
I hope this may take off or be a seed that comes up
I wonder if 'iuoma' - us could appraoch prisons + hospitals somehow ? .......
icertainly feel Both freed + better for iuoma i myst say...
you have a lot of gr8 idea andyg
(gosh ive never edited 1 of me posts before !! :)
Thanks Laurence. I have been considering talking to the art therapy department at my university about using mailart and it's potential benefits.
Not sure if you saw it, as you are also a Londoner, but every year, the Koestler trust run the annual Art by Offenders show in London's Southbank. It's great. Some of the artworks are stonking. I wish that there were more prison groups on mailart networks, as I think that mailart's "No jury" ethos is particularly relevant to this group. I get loads of art in the post and because I don't know anything about the artist, I will always look at the art on it's own merits.
As you say Laurence, it's a freeing feeling
Thanx very andy.
I will look linc for the K trust.
Yes, wonderful ethos for prison + hospitasl + other outsider groups.
The art therapy dept good idea. -- i must try speak to some art therapist friend / ex colleague about this.
I love the o art book - most not in book of course. Jean Dubuffet a great one -- 'patron saint' for all outsider artist of all kinds.
I'm sure that there are many outsiders, and I think that the beauty of mailart is that you never really ask or delve into the background of the sender. As far as I am concerned you could be prisoner, patient or alien I will not judge you as a person, to me the sender of mailart is an artist first and foremost. Through mailart that connection is made, which does not necessitate social graces.
Ah I hadn't thought of that Erica. Can you tell me where you find out about the activists?
This also looks like it could be promising - http://www.safestreetsarts.org/
I joined a political prisoners email list a while ago. It's called the ELP Prisoner's Network. I don't know if they have a website anymore. However, here are some websites you should check out:
I hope that helps!
Thanks Erica that's really helpful! I think I'll put my money where my mouth is and start sending out!
I think an issue with starting a thread like this is that it perhaps seems voyeuristic, but I'm genuinely interested in using mailart as a way to reach out and effect change. Let's give it a go
I find great encouragement in this message, + the link with the person on 'deathrow' + terrific that that person made book + sent to the world + to Ruud -
- especially in a nutshell these words :
'Still remember these times and the need to reach out for everybody.'
I also find the need to reach out to those incarcerated and suffering to be a really valiant use of mailart. I know at the moment that Amnesty are running their annual Human Rights postcards drive and think it would be great if we used art to bridge these gaps.
Personally I think it would be a bad thing if art was labelled as art "by outsiders" as such, and like the idea that mailart is totally inclusive, and that we write to each other as fellow human beings and artists