Ernest Zacharevic was busy last week participating in laudable Made Correction project @ The Kaunas Youth Correctional and Interrogation Facility. The idea of this project is to help gauge the impact art might had on its youth offenders. In order to do so, the organizers are inviting different artists to the facility, and have them work with the inmates on creating artwork or decorate the inside walls of this facility.
Zach’s team spent 3 days working inside, and here is what they had to say about their experience:
We went to the facility without any ideas what to expect in a place where boys as young as 14 are imprisoned for serious crimes like murder, serious bodily injuries, rapes and organised crime. Ernest wanted this to be a collaboration between him and the inmates (5 volunteers from the Strict Group), so we brought stencils and the boys have stenciled 35m long wall imitating the ornaments of the main perimeter wall. Meanwhile Ernest has painted his figures trying to break out, cutting the fence and just playing with it. Everybody, even hardcore security guards were amused and really supportive. Inmates were practical boys so they used the opportunity of paints available and painted their soccer gates and other exercise areas (gold was a color of choice obviously). By the end of day 3 we all became relaxed around each other and boys wanted to know more about our lives (they have never seen or talked to an artist before), so Ernest made a sharing session. In pictures you can see us and the boys (faces have to be covered for legal purposes) playing around with the murals.