Rio Terà & Mark Bradford
On the occasion of representing the United States of America at the 57th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale, US artist Mark Bradford met with Rio Terà dei Pensieri. After being intrigued and inspired by the stories and projects undertaken by the organization, Bradford wanted to visit the prison work spaces in person, meet the inmates in both prisons, and share some phases of the work with them. His knowledge and keen sensitivity with respect to the issues of hardship and social redemption led him to give life to Process Collettivo.
The project will use the world stage of the Biennale to bring attention and support to social partnership models that intervene in the penitentiary system by creating employment opportunities for inmates and those who have recently returned to freedom.
Prison work today has become a widespread reality that has spread to almost every region. The belief that even while incarcerated you can gain quality work experience, ofering people in reclusion the opportunity to have small pockets of freedom, exchange, and satisfaction, has become one that many people hold. As a non-profit organization, Rio Terà dei Pensieri is contributing to this cultural change.
Process Collettivo will initially collaborate with Rio Terà dei Pensieri for six years, with the aim of increasing employment and training opportunities within prisons and the city of Venice. Building on the existing structure with non-profit laboratories and workspaces, Bradford has promoted the opening of a shop in the historic center of Venice near the Church of the Frari. This shop creates awareness and sells goods to the public and many of the visitors passing through, ofering the handmade products made by the inmates (bags and accessories, T-shirts, and natural cosmetics).
This shop will also provide new job opportunities for people recently released from prison and will be a reference point for former inmates regarding information on services available in the city, including access to training, employment, housing and health services. All proceeds from the sales will go to support projects providing work to Rio Terà dei Pensieri inmates and new and upcoming projects that will be promoted through Process Collettivo.