Vulnerability of women in prison focus of innovative art project in Bolivia

Vulnerability of women in prison focus of innovative art project in Bolivia. Photo: UNODC29 December 2016 - In recent weeks, UNODC's office in Bolivia, together with the World Bank Group's representative in the country, unveiled the multimedia art project entitled "Obrajes", aimed at raising awareness, from a global standpoint, about the vulnerabilities faced by women in prison settings, and to promote comprehensive criminal justice policies aligned with international standards.

"Obrajes" is part of UNODC's support to Bolivia's Interior Ministry regarding criminal justice reform, as part of a structural overhaul of the criminal justice and crime prevention system in the country.

The art production gathers testimonials and experiences from 12 women in prison settings, from a global human perspective, and with a concept that is simultaneously local, regional and international. The high-quality audiovisual material was recorded in October 2015 at the La Paz Women's Counselling Center 'Obrajes' (or COF, its Spanish acronym). The work was conceived as a dynamic experience which places the spectator as part of the performance. The production breaks the usual relationship between what is seen and heard, looking for the contrast between the different voices - recorded in an intimate setting - and static images taken on the prison's exterior.

Additionally, "Obrajes" is the first product from the 'Awareness-raising on the reality of people in prison settings' project. The second phase will focus on prison overpopulation. The third and final phase will then highlight adolescents and young adults in conflict with the law.

This work was produced with the support of UNODC, the World Bank Group, the Embassy of Denmark in Bolivia, and former UNODC Goodwill Ambassador Alessandro Scotti, a renowned artist, photographer, documentarian and writer. It was jointly coordinated with the Andean country's Interior Ministry and its Office on Penitentiary Administration.

Further information:

Full project's description and original story (in Spanish)

UNODC in Bolivia

UNODC Strategy on Addressing the Global Prison Crisis

UNODC's work on criminal justice reform