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History Traces of Freedom

Trazos de Libertad was born in 2016 by the initiative of exdragonante Carlos Rojas in the search for tools that allow the transformation, internalization and release of internal conflicts of people deprived of liberty in the Itagüí prison, through artistic practices such as drawing. , painting, sculpture, literature and theater. In September 2017, with self-managed resources, the first exhibition room was inaugurated inside a prison establishment, with the exhibition "Trazos de Libertad" where the works made during this time were exhibited. 

Here you can read the testimony of Carlos Rojas and how the project started. 


In September 2019, the project began in the Bellavista prison, with an initial focus on art as therapy. Through the management and accompaniment of Carlos Rojas, the project is operating with voluntary work in the Itaguï and Bellavista prisons and the management has begun to start in Pedregal. Up to now, plastic arts, graphic arts, music and theater programs have been developed in the Itagüí prison. For its part, the Bellavista prison has begun to implement visual arts and music programs. In the Pedregal prison, efforts have been made to start with a visual arts program. These workshops have the voluntary support of professional artists Camilo Restrepo, Ani Mejía and Federico Ortegón.


As a result of this process in the Bellavista prison, an exhibition was held in December 2019 that gave an account of the process carried out in this last prison, in which the possibility of capturing in an artistic piece the feelings and experiences of the interns. This is how Liliana Echeverri, attention and treatment psychologist at INPEC, points out about this project that “the emotional management of the inmates is key and it is very gratifying to see how, as days go by, the aggressiveness of some of the boys who came to the project is smaller and the enthusiasm grows because they feel useful”.  

In 2020, due to the  global contingency due to COVID-19,  new alternatives were considered for the execution of the project. In this way, we transfer our face-to-face work plan to an analogous modality, through blogs, in which we explore facilitation modalities that make different pedagogical forms possible in the midst of global urgency. In this period we carried out a series of exercises, whose objective was to develop free expression and reflection on situations that the participants of this project were going through at that time. Through drawing and words, they managed to capture their emotions, and expressed themselves about those difficult situations they were going through at the time of the pandemic. The exercises served as a vehicle to express the emotions, thoughts and reflections of each one.

During 2021, taking into account the relaxation of national measures in the face of COVID-19, the way of working was mostly face-to-face. In each, the issue of representation was addressed, disseminated in graphic skills and psychosocial skills, which are worked on in parallel: in terms of graphic skills, the face was worked on in lines and the human figure in lines, with activities such as guided drawing of the face, portraits, self-portraits, guided drawing of the human figure, among others; With regard to psychosocial skills, the issue of identifying emotions, emotional self-assessment, symbols and identity was addressed, for this activities have been carried out such as working in pairs to identify emotions in the other, drawings on the state of mind, the exploration of references, the investigation of their identity, among others. 


To address these issues, weekly workshops were held with each of the groups, where training in artistic techniques was appealed to, while psychosocial work sessions were held, with activities that encouraged critical thinking and individual and collective reflection. . Likewise, as major closing activities for this version, some mural sessions were held with the beneficiaries, in which guest artists participated. In addition to this, an exhibition was held, in which each beneficiary was able to present the result of a process derived from a symbolic self-portrait, which consisted not only in drawing their own silhouette, but also their own representations, the result of a constant reflective exercise on themselves as individuals and as social subjects. 

To know the story of Carlos Rojas, click here .


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