An initiative by

UMAM Documentation & Research


© 2018 UMAM D&R | by A.G.                        

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MENA Prison Forum

Exploring Political Prison Culture and Practices
in the MENA Region

Film excerpts from

The Battle of Algiers, Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966
Tadmor, M. Borgmann & L. Slim, 2016
Journey into Memory, Hala Mohammad, 2006
Ghost Hunting, Raed Andoni, 2017

All rights reserved





The MENA PRISON FORUM (MPF) is a regional, multilayered and interdisciplinary initiative that seeks to create a platform dedicated to matters related to detention, prison, torture and trauma.
The platform will facilitate exchanges between artists, academics, former detainees, related organizations and human rights advocates whose actions are focused on such matters, thus bridging artistic and cultural expressions and human rights initiatives.


Oh, Prison Darkness, stay

Indeed, we yearn for darkness

"Ode to the Prison Shadows" by Najib Rayyes, 1922


The MPF asserts that throughout today's MENA region, the centrality of political imprisonment and its myriad related issues (such as unlawful detention, suppression of freedom, enforced disappearances, torture and trauma) is evident. Despite the many differences that distinguish MENA countries, all have a carceral nucleus synonymous with the abuse of power, by either state authorities or other actors who emerged recently from the ruins of these states.


The MPF sees this powerful theme as a relevant means of effecting social and political change. Unifying actors and stakeholders from various professional backgrounds will enrich the debate over prison issues and foster new ideas for making societies and communities more aware of, and responsible for the unlawful acts being committed behind prison walls supposedly in their behalf.


Through its blog, the MPF shares a selection of multidisciplinary resources (press articles, academic research, publications, artistic production and events) and will announce its news, coming events or open calls. Stay tuned and follow our updates!