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Robin Wöhr

Master Thesis, Creative Direction, WS 2021/22

(un)caged creativity - creativity in the context of prisons


The focus of this study is on the effects of the deprivation of material and social freedoms, as well as freedoms of movement and action, on creative work and the freedom of thought of the individual in the context of a "total institution" (here: prison). It was deliberately decided to take a closer look at an environment that is as contrary as possible, such as that of the prison, in order to examine free creative work there more closely. On the basis of concrete examples and reports of experiences from different macro and micro levels, it was examined whether and how restrictions on freedom of movement and action affect creative work in an isolated (working) environment. For this purpose, seven possible influencing factors were derived: Permanent surveillance; deprivation of freedom of decision; restriction of place; determination of time; reduction of means; provoked boredom; isolation from the outside world. The résumé of this work is: Creativity moves in the field of tension between freedom and captivity. It can neither be completely imprisoned nor completely liberated. It is neither only one thing, nor only the other. Its appearance is dispositive and shows parallels to the dispositive prison. Creative individuals can be imprisoned, even if their personal creativity remains free. Freedom of thought cannot be taken away. For many, it is the only means of breaking out of the cages and overcoming the walls of the "total institution. It is the bridge between two isolated societies. It is also there where you would least expect it. Behind bars, it takes on a whole new meaning.

more is coming soon...