How does one find escapism in situations of structural imprisonment? Can play and the imagination still offer that sense of liberation under circumstances of severe disciplining, a lack of agency and surveillance that characterise imprisonment or does the imaginary then get barred too?

Let’s call this a curational post lockdown reflection on the role – or lack – of play/the imagination in situations of imprisonment. Touching thereby on the hardships of incarceration, the importance of the imaginary but also upon biased (media) attention: where was the mention of concern for those who are systemically imprisoned during the lockdown press conferences? What about their need for escapism? 

The work presents a curated collection of interviews with people who are in differing ways experts by experience with either play or imprisonment, combined with video footage of live drawings that were made while listening to the interviews. 

Imprisonment here may be understood broadly; so not only the literal incarceration like in jail and detention centers but also the feeling of incarceration that follows from structures of social exclusion.

Escapism here should not be understood as merely running away from something but rather as going somewhere unknown and perhaps thereby also breaking with certain norms or structures that have kept you hostage, like this sweet spot in dancing when you free your body of its disciplined way of moving through daily life.