The film experiment "Außenbilder" (exterior image) explores the limits, potentials and possibilities of the medium film to bring closer what is absent. Within the framework of a participatory process, four imprisoned youths of a penal institution can address film assignments to the filmmaker, who takes them on with the help of her camera outside the prison.

Project start:

The starting point of the project is the prison, according to the definition of the Council of Europe (CPT) "any place where people are held against their will". Punishment in the form of deprivation of liberty in a completely closed institution is a system that has remained unchanged in Germany, although many statistics repeatedly question the prison sentence as it stands as a means of improving or resocializing an offender. According to the Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice (2005-16 period), the recidivism rate in the juvenile prison system is over 70%.

The completely closed and isolated place, where there is no internet, no free telephone access, monitored correspondence and only very limited visiting hours, makes it virtually impossible to establish contact and continuous relationships with the outside world.

In addition to the tragic effects on the prisoners, the prevented contact also represents an often unseen deficit in society - the place and its involuntary residents remain invisible to the normal population. So how can a connection, a space for mediation and exchange from the inside to the outside (and the other way around) be created? In this participatory documetarfilm project, prisoners themselves can express, in the form of film assignments, what they want the camera team to record and carry back for them outside the prison.

Project lead: Lina Zacher