I returned to the prison today after two weeks away and got a warm reception. People seemed happy to see me and it was nice to catch up on what had happened over the past two weeks.
This week my plan was to meet with all the researchers and see how they got on whilst I was away, carry out some photo-essay interviews myself and print out the photos in preparation for the exhibition.
Daniel had managed to get a number of photo projects completed and Harald and Jon had lined up a number of “customers”. I met one inmate, who was keen to show me the photos he had taken. You can imagine how excited I was when I saw this photo here of Mr Fox, eating an egg.
The fox was generally thought of very highly in the prison, as a shy criminal that has been tamed. When inmates talked about the fox their eyes lit up, as they discussed how such experiences made them feel connected to nature and the world. This connection seemed to reduce negative feelings and give inmates an opportunity to experience something positive. Some could not articulate the feeling they got from this close encounter with wildlife. I was interested by the role that the surroundings alone were having on the inmates, some of which had extremely dark pasts and carried out some very serious crimes. It seemed to have a calming effect that was difficult to express.