Upcoming Sunday is the Young in Prison Art Auction, a biannual photography fair with beautiful work donated by renowned photographers. Citinerary went to the first view-day to get the nitty gritty behind YiP and its auction.
In 2001 Noa Lodeizen, founder of Young in Prison (YiP), was doing an internship in South Africa working with street kids, following their daily lives. Often times these kids would end up in jail. Noa's experiences urged her to do something for these children.
“As I went to look them up in prison I was confronted with the shocking living conditions. Being locked up for 23 hours per day with 100 other kids in one small cell was like observing hell. With no activities for them to do or any positive interactions whatsoever, I knew these jails were like universities for crime. These kids had so much potential and I couldn’t believe that people could give up on them. I wanted them to have a second chance in society. That’s why I started Young in Prison” Noa explains.
YiP has proven to be successful in South Africa, Malawi, Colombia and Surinam ever since 2002. And is now also running projects in our home country the Netherlands.
“The situation between Dutch youth delinquents and for example Colombians is of course very different, even just by looking at the cells. In Malawi they don’t have proper beds or sanitary and there’s a lack of food. The type of crimes they commit are also different. But what does tie them is that most of these children are from broken families, the fundamental basics of learning life skills are missing and that's universal.”
“Our approach in how we work with kids, whether it’s in Amsterdam or in South Africa is very similar, however the type creative activities is very dependent on the culture. In South Africa, for example, poetry works very well, but that would never take off in the Netherlands.”
Noa’s mission is to enable these kids to bring out the best of their potentials and for them to play an active and positive part in their society. Noa and her team help children learn skills that enables them to work proper jobs or go back to school for example.
YiP is dependent on donations and funds, and as creative as YiP is, they host the biannual YipArt Auction at Christies where the best photographers donate some of their amazing work. The first view-day was a great evening fully donated by caterers, DJ's, the great location Christie's and of course the artists.
Get your hands on a great piece of art at the auction this Sunday, 23d of March and do some good. If you can't be there take a look at the photography at www.younginprison.nl and place a bid. For more information follow YiP on Facebook.
(Noa Lodeizen is the one on the left)