The Reading Circle
Studio Nilima's team has been actively organising a weekly Reading Circle at the District Jail, Morigaon, Assam, which started from February, 2020 to reinstate the process of reading, learning, sharing and expression of thoughts through the medium of Assamese folklore with the inmates of District Jail, Morigaon.
What emerged from these converstations was a feeling of depression and suffocating loneliness among the inmates, that creeped in, in the evenings once the inmates were locked up in their cells. The sense of alienation from the society and deprival from the normal day to day activities, left them with complete lack of motivation, clawing at their sanity in these seemingly never ending monotonous hours of confinement.
With the initiation of the Reading Circle project, the inmates expressed feeling an immense sense of joy, describing how such an exercise has turned into a pivotal point of their lives in confinement, turning their mundane and forgotten existence into anticipation. Whereas nights previously were spent in horrific isolation and confinement now were spent in sharing bits of intellectuality with fellow inmates, exchanging conversations filled with vigour and delight. The initiative has also resulted in inmates expressing their thoughts through various mediums of writing, art and poetry.