Art is a right. Free expression is also a right. So, the freedom for anyone express himself through the arts — theatre, writing, fine arts — is a logical conclusion.
Prison Arts Foundation supports projects that help prisoners, ex-prisoners, young offenders and ex-young offenders in Northern Ireland to access the arts.
There are three ways of expression in the PAF Project:
1. Doodles: The starting point for creativity, it lets the prisioner know himself, as Carlo Gébler (Writer in Residence for PAF) said, “A prisoner meets and has to spend time with the one person he/she did not think they would meet — themselves”.
2. Drama: Playing is the most emotional way of expression. Exchange and interaction helps people to address the situation in a productive way.
3. Exposition: Very useful for increasing self-esteem and self-fulfillment, prisoners can see themselves reaching high achievements, helping them to personally mature.
Arts can blossom in most unexpected places, and a prison is not a exception. People must pay for their crimes and mistakes, but talent shouldn’t be jailed.