Prison theatre, cultural activities to be launched in prisons

Obaidur Rahman Sohan | Published: 21:55, Dec 24,2020


Israfeel Shaheen

Prison theatre is a unique field conceived under practical theatre, which can substantially help in the reformative process of the prison inmates positively, affecting their psychological health.

For the first time ever in the country, prison theatre and cultural activities will be held in 68 prisons across the country. Munier Chowdhury’s celebrated play Kobor will be performed by prisoners from February 21, 2021 in the country’s prisons.

Under the supervision of Professor Israfeel Shaheen of department of theatre and performance studies at Dhaka University, two MPhil, and one PhD students of the same department will conduct research and studies based on the activities in prisons for the next three years.

‘Our research and cultural activities will take particular note of Bangabandhu’s autobiographical narratives from Karagarer Rojnamcha and Oshomapto Attojiboni, episodes of which will be performed, designed and directed by the prison inmates at different prisons,’ shares Professor Israfeel.

‘We will visit Keraniganj Central Jail by the end of this month. Then we will visit Thakurgaon, Dinajpur and several districts,’ he added.

Professor Israfeel, a graduate of Delhi’s National School of Drama, shared that the prison theatre participants will also enact the murders of four great national leaders who were murdered inside Dhaka Central Jail on November 3, 1975.

Theatre shows and cultural activities will be gradually arranged in juvenile correction centres, mental hospitals, and rehabilitation centres.

The prison theatre and cultural activities initiative, which has already received the approval from Dhaka University, Ministry of Home Affairs, department of prisons and others, will be held for three years in all 68 prisons across the country. It will be launched in the last week of December.

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