The Arts of Imprisonment: Control, Resistance and Empowerment
THE ARTS OF IMPRISONMENT: CONTROL, RESISTANCE AND EMPOWERMENT, L. K. Cheliotis, ed., Ashgate, 2012
Posted: 28 Nov 2011
Date Written: November 27, 2011
The arts – spanning the visual, design, performing, media, musical, and literary genres – constitute an alternative lens through which to understand state-sanctioned punishment and its place in public consciousness. Perhaps this is especially so in the case of imprisonment: its nature, its functions, and the ways in which these register in public perceptions and desires, have historically and to some extent inherently been intertwined with the arts. But the products of this intertwinement have by no means been constant or uniform. Indeed, just as exploring imprisonment and its public meanings through the lens of the arts may reveal hitherto obscured instances of social control within or outside prisons, so too it may uncover a rich and possibly inspirational archive of resistance to them. This edited collection sheds light both on state use of the arts for the purposes of controlling prisoners and the broader public, and the use made of the arts by prisoners and portions of the broader public as tools of resistance to penal states. The book also includes a number of chapters that address arts-in-prisons programmes, making distinctive contributions to the literature on their philosophy, formation, operation, effectiveness, and research evaluation, as well as taking care to explore the politics surrounding and underpinning these multiple themes.
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