Arts and Culture
The establishment of prisons in the Philippines has a long history of colonial past. Prisons were used as a colonial state apparatus to isolate individuals deemed as criminals and considered as threat to foreign domination. Most of the prisoners incarcerated in the Bilibid prison were peasants. Most of them joined the armed revolt to ﬁght against the Spanish colonisers and reclaim their land from the hacienderos and landlords that beneﬁted from the encomienda system. However, political prisoners who are artist and writers during the Spanish and American colonial period would transform the prison as a space of oppression to a place of subversion. Through the creative processes fuelled by their love of country and hope for freedom for their countrymen, they created their artistic works during their imprisonment. Given the historical and political contexts of the establishment of prisons in the Philippines, and the creative process embraced by political prisoners during the colonial times and contemporary Philippines, this project proposal aims to lay down the signiﬁcance of transforming prisons as a space of repression into a place of subversion. Backed by historical notes, documents, creative works and artifacts produced by political prisoners in the Philippines, these will serve as references and materials to prove the transformation of prisons into a place of creativity with a clear objective to continuously struggle for genuine change and development.