A team of proffesional journalists and social workers have launched Impresas, a project that aspires to create the first magazine exclusively edited by inmates at the Picassent Prison (Valencia), the biggest penitentiary in Spain. Specifically, this initiative consists in the realization of theorical and practical workshops for which 15 women. These women will be in charge of the publication: they will pick the name and themes, they will write the content of the magazine and they design the outline. This project is supported by the Universitat de València through the office of the Vice-principal for Sports and Culture and the Human Rights Institute.
The purpose of this workshop is to produce a creative environment in prison that will reinforce the qualities and favour the empowerment of the participants. The result of this activity will be the number 0 of a printed magazine. This way, they can have a tangible proof of their talent that will beat the digital divide with their relatives. The distribution of the first edition of the Impresas projext will take place in the prison environment.
The pictures included in this magazine will be in the charge of professional photographers and illustrators, who will be their ‘eyes to the outside world’, since they will collaborate to transmit graphically the ideas the women decide to share about themselves.
This initiative comes from the concern of the Impresas collective, formed by a team of women who are aware of the exclusion and whose objetive is to have a real social impact through culture. In this sense, the project has been meticulously designed by professionals from the field of literary journalism and the social branch, who have met a pannel of former inmates in order to contrast the sustaibility of the activities and perspectives.
The journalist branch of the group is formed by journalist Pilar Almenar, project manager; Laura Bellver, journalist specialised in equality and gender perspective and photojournalist and philosophy graduate Estrella Jover, content coordinator. The social branch is formed by Patricia Blanco, specialist in social projects management who provides strategic points of view in this field; Rus Martínez, psychologist with experience in penitentiaries and Cristina López, occupational therapist with training in emotional and group management.
These workshops began in October and will continue until the end of January so that the magazine can be published on the 8th of March, International Women’s Day. The Picassent prison is the largest prison in Spain. 2,400 people live there, 12% of which are women. Female population is a minority in Spanish prisons, they represent only 8% of the totality of inmate population and they have less choices of treatment and reintegration activities.
Impresas project aspires to compensate this inequality as much as possible by doing activities that will increase the capacity of expression of the participants, so that they can take advantage of this knowledge inside the prison, where they can complete written official procedures. This way, their hability to communicate will facilitate their integration and will help them once they get out of prison.
Impresas is drawn to continuity: after their first edition, the group expects to be able to do these workshops every year. Currently, this initiative is developed with the support of Adonar, an association with expertise in helping social action projects through culture and Àmbit, an association with 25 years of work in prisons with mentally-ill inmates and former inmates. Picassent prison, which is assigned to the Secretaria General d’Institucions Penitenciàries, accepted this project that is supported by Obra Social ‘La Caixa’.
In order to achieve their objective, this project is open to collaborations and financial support from institutions, creative partnerships and graphic professionals who wish to participate and help.