Croatian association publishes stories of female convicts

Prisoners in Croatia have limited opportunities to participate in public life. But with the help of a local association, the writings of the female convicts of Požega Penitentiary have reached readers through an innovative e-mail campaign. 

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Croatian association publishes stories of female convicts - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

The voices of women in prisons are generally not heard in the public sphere. With their freedom, the system takes away their chances to have their say in their communities.

But the campaign of Skribonauti Association has allowed those voices to escape prison cells and find their way to the inboxes of people interested in reading their thoughts. 

The association has been bringing the books of Croatian authors into Požega Penitentiary for months, trying to encourage women to read and discuss them together through regular book club meetings.  

With this campaign, the process has been turned on its head -- fragments of writings created within the Penitentiary have become literature being discussed by the Croatian public.  

Details from the story:

  • Skribonauti Association has launched a newsletter campaign "Nastavi priču" (in English: "Continue the Story") in December last year. Whoever signed up for the newsletter has been receiving short stories during the three weeks period of the pre-holiday and holiday season through their e-mails. 
  • The stories, inspired by the writings of women convicts in Požega Penitentiary, were written by Croatian female writers Marija Andrijašević, Marija Rakić Mimica i Jasna Jasna Žmak.  
  • Skribonauti Association has been working with female prisoners of Požega Penitentiary through the Book Club program for three years now, according to N1. 
  • Požega Penitentiary is Croatia’s only correctional facility for women.
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