Impresas magazine, creativity and social journalism to empower women in prison
29 Dec 2020 /

Impresas magazine, creativity and social journalism to empower women in prison

“Behind the walls there is culture and a wish to extend it.” Impresas consists of an initiative that has taken material form in a magazine with which female prisoners of the Picassent jail (Valencia) are given the chance to tell their stories to the world.

Impresas arose in 2018 when journalist Pilar Almenar, being interested in social journalism, wanted to take this field to the next level and give a group of women prisoners the opportunity to express themselves. This initiative now benefits, in addition, from the cooperation of Valencia World Design Capital 2022. This support arose after the first call for projects issued by the organisation, a call that stood out thanks to the diversity of the proposals received.

Without a doubt, Impresas has become a true example of social design, with which to accompany and empower a group of citizens at risk of social exclusion.

Behind the walls there is culture and a wish to extend it. 'Impresas' is a magazine with which female prisoners of the Picassent jail (Valencia) are given the chance to tell their stories to the world.

Thus, the reporters become creators of the entire magazine, with absolute freedom to create the texts, the lay-out, the selection of topics and focuses. On Friday afternoons, they participate in content creation workshops to help the annual issue to take shape.

However, these reporters are not alone, they benefit from the help of journalists and other professionals. Design is an essential part of Impresas, and therefore, illustrators, photojournalists and professional editorial designers also work on the creation of the magazine. This is an interesting collaboration insofar as they are the ones who choose, from a portfolio of creators, the ones they want to work with on their creative production.

As indicated by the Impresas team, “In prison there are no computers or mobile telephones and, of course, they do not have internet access. Therefore, all the texts have been handwritten by the reporters (some of them several times if they have decided to improve them). As members of the outside team of Impresas, we write up these creations on our computers and propose corrections, which they supervise. With no access to the digital version, the only way to see their magazine is to receive it on paper.”

The project therefore consists of an opportunity for the reporters to tell the world about their reality and break down social prejudices. The importance of Impresas lies not so much in the end result as in the creative process, a time when creativity and ideas arise, followed by implementation, thanks to relationships with the world of journalism and design.

The latest innovation consists of the opening of a crowdfunding page so that anybody can do their bit to contribute to this social initiative. This crowdfunding initiative will be open until 30 January 2021.

The importance of 'Impresas' lies not so much in the end result as in the creative process.