There is a strong tie between the Verso Foundation and Bolivia, even from a distance, and this relationship has manifested itself once again for the educators’ writing workshop at San Pedro prison in La Paz.
In the past, Verso has supported the Santa Rosa Festival in the impoverished Bolivian Chaco. This was organised by medical artist Mimmo Roselli with the Guarani community and Franciscan fathers; we supported it both financially and by meeting the secondary school teachers and students for a writing workshop. It was a wonderful experience, which got the whole village involved in artistic workshops. The workshop may have ended, but our relationship with Bolivia endures.
Through Mimmo Roselli, we were contacted by Rimini-based ODV Solidarity Lab– an organisation which has been supporting various social and educational projects in San Pedro prison in La Paz for twenty years. After seeing that Andrea Bocconi had held an autobiographical writing workshop for two years in Arezzo prison, they asked whether we could organise a similar initiative for educators at San Pedro prison, through an online course. Participants experimented with the various techniques that were introduced, and then reproduced them at the prison’s internal workshops for individual prisoners and groups.
The 20-hour course was held from August to December 2021, with active participation from the eleven educators. The questionnaires administered by Solidarity Lab showed that the educators wished to continue the experience and learn more about the theory and practice of the psychosynthetic model.