During the early summer of 2018 I have the chance to give a typographic creation workshop in the prison of Qalauma, located in Viacha, Bolivia. Coming from the initiative of an Italian NGO, this prison for minors accommodate young people from 18 to 27 years old. More than a prison, it is a rehabilitation centre through work. Several reconversions are proposed through carpentry workshops, bakery, the cultivation of a piece of agricultural land and farming. In addition, creative workshops are offered by external speakers. I was contacted by Suma, association which sells Bolivian handcrafts in Europe, to help them to give a workshop in the prison.

The main idea was that each participant create his own letter and then redraw it on the wall.

The letters have been selected following a discussion with prisoners about their feelings in the moment. For the creation we used a modular system, consisting of laser-cut Plexiglas plates I used to develop as help for typographic creation.

Then I worked on a participative composition system for the mural so that we can put together the letters created. An alternating color contrast was also thought to oversee the balance of the mural.

Once in Bolivia, I worked with Suma’s founder and 3 young Bolivians that work in the graphic arts. We gave the workshop during 4 days in the refectory hall of the prison with a group of 25 young prisonniers.

I would like to thank all of them for their amazing energy and the incredible work during the workshop.


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