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Traces of Freedom

Covid 19

Traces of Freedom Covid 19


Traces of Freedom is a project developed by the artist and ex-prison guard Carlos Rojas and the Casa Tres Patios Foundation that addresses the social reintegration of inmates in prisons through the appropriation of artistic techniques and the dialogues that may arise in the approach to art. This is in the absence of alternative training processes that aim to enhance technical skills and generate dialogues around issues that are important in the reintegration and empowerment of those deprived of liberty in prisons in Colombia. The project provides inmates with tools to capture their narratives through the visual arts and express their ideas and emotions in creative and non-violent ways.


Artistic creation in complex contexts such as prisons has been shown to contribute to the strengthening of self-esteem, collaborative work between participants, the exploration of alternative life references and the motivation to develop new ways of inhabiting the prison system . The challenges faced by inmates within their processes of reintegration into civil society are reflected in the number of repeat offenders offered by INPEC (2020), according to which the population that has returned to prisons is 16,482 (21 , 34% of people). To this is added the difficult situation of overcrowding in prisons, a value that reaches 29.1%, that is, an overpopulation of 23,557 individuals.

In March of this year, the Sofía Pérez de Soto Foundation announced its support for the Trazos de Libertad project with a sum of 15,000,000 COP, a resource that will be used for its implementation for 3 months with 60 inmates of the penitentiary centers of Bellavista and Itagüí. This week we received a notification from the INPEC in which they indicate that due to the current situation with COVID-19, activities led by external organizations in prisons are suspended until December 2020.


The above has led us to consider new alternatives for the execution of the project and the design of specific activities aimed at achieving its objective. In this sense, a proposal is presented below aimed at counteracting the negative effects of the penance experience in Bellavista through artistic practices, as in the previous proposal, with a population of 60 inmates, for three months. From the Casa Tres Patios Foundation, the participants are given a kit consisting of a log, a set of drawing materials and guides in which specific exercises are proposed for the appropriation of artistic techniques, as well as guiding questions that encourage students. participants to express their thoughts, experiences and emotions within the prison system in the blog. Every fortnight a photographic record is made of the progress of the inmates, so that they can be analyzed at the Foundation. Likewise, every fortnight a new guide is sent with artistic exercises, with new guiding questions and with personalized feedback to each of the participants. It should be added that the delivery of materials is carried out under strict biosafety conditions, in accordance with what is established by the National Government in decree 749 of 2020, for the prevention of the contagion of COVID-19 in the prison system.






  • Improve the socio-emotional and technical skills of prisoners in the Pedregal, Bellavista and Itagüí prisons through artistic practices and the management of economic opportunities.




  • Increase positive references and narratives and life skills that allow reintegration into society and improve their relationships and behavior within the prison institution.

  • Train inmates in artistic techniques that can serve as tools of expression for their reintegration into society and the acquisition of work.

  • Manage personal and work opportunities for the post-convicts through strategic alliances with organizations from the first, second and third sectors and training for work.




  • Project beneficiaries: 60 inmates of the Bellavista, Itagüí and Pedregal prisons. The number of beneficiaries may vary according to the financing resources available.



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