Space, Time and Faces behind the Bars.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:15
Location: Hörsaal 22 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Alessio DI MARCO, Piccolo Opificio Sociologico, Italy
Mario VENTURELLA, Piccolo Opificio Sociologico, Italy
This research is a prison ethnography that started while the two authors were working inside the two detention facilities of Firenze and Prato. During the year of work/field activity, we closely observed the building of a prison frame that works in the construction of everyday life. The time spent inside an Italian prison is a suspended time that influences how space, relations and time itself are perceived by inmates. The relationship between prison and capitalism is old, deep and, for many reasons, problematic. The prison in Italy, as total institutions do, is very dominating, especially regarding the partition of time. At the same time, the prison system is characterized by his incapacity to organize everyday time down to the smallest detail. The paradox is that of a total institution which leaves wide space of action to his subordinates, without offering a real space for agency. Expelling some person from society, and relegating them in an alternative space-time, may lead to the creation of awkward subjects. No longer able to experience their bodies into community and, at the same time, unprepared for addressing the complexity of an increasingly less face-to-face society, those who leave prison meet serious re-integration problems. As an example, inmates know as well the existence of modern smartphones, but they hardly conceive the social and relational conventions behind its use. The prison frame works as a filter in the relationship between body and space-time, and acts like a habitus outside the prison, not allowing a good re-entry in society.