“Always alone but never alone” (Breyten Breytenbach) is the feeling result of freezing time and space inside an encapsulated world which is a prison. But what if this sort of Place manages to keep good time?
In his article “At home in prison“, Lex Wouterloot sees in imprisonment a direct paradox of detention: Detention means banishment from house and family and isolation in a closed penitentiary. This social separation from family ties forms one of the greatest burdens of imprisonment. […] (A) prisoner is thrown back totally upon his own psychological resources and made dependent upon the functioning of the penal system. Paradoxically, the prison places the inmate in an environment where scarcely any privacy exists. Locked up alone in a cell, the prisoner is subjected to permanent supervision by guards, who practise silent surveillance through a hatch in the cell door or via a video camera.
Even if he compares inmates with immobilised and isolated zombies fighting boredom and killing time, some initiatives try to impulse their privatepublic everyday life. By means of social interaction and promotion of motivation through personal skills, the Jail Warden of Cebu Prison in Philippines developed a 1,500 inmates group choreography. Michael Jackson’s Thriller was conscientiously rehearsed and performed in their leisure courtyard. A stage directly widening their daily cocooning routine, and indirectly catapulting them into the global celebrities market, making MJ’s choreographer eventually work together with them.
The virtual zombie life acquires at least a more meaningful existence.