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Free Translation is a multi-disciplinary project showcasing international works by currently and formerly incarcerated people as well as anyone affected by imprisonment. What you are experiencing is the online version of the Free Translation exhibition. In this project we use translation techniques as a means of creatively interpreting works of art and word. This means that we interpret the meaning of the works and create new works of art based on the translations. This can be a translation into another language or another medium. For example, a poem can be manifested into a photograph and a drawing can be written as a letter. In this way, we make new works of art and literature, and get closer to understanding ourselves and each other as we open dialogue.

The Online Gallery

On the online gallery under each picture there is the possibility for you to interpret or comment on that piece. It can be in text, visual, or video format.

Your translations and interpretations inspire more thoughts, feelings, and perspectives to be shared and to be sparked.

How to translate:

+ Select an artwork from the online gallery that speaks to you.

+ Look at it carefully and read it. What is this artwork trying to communicate to you?

+ Using creative means available to you such as pen, paper, recycled materials or your mobile phone camera/word processor create a response to the work. What feelings and thoughts does it inspire in you? How does that feeling translate into a color or a shape, for example?

+ In addition or as an alternative, feel free to translate the work into another language.

Email your translation to info(at) Include the title of the piece, date, materials, and author, if you would like these to be posted along with your artwork. You can directly upload your own response/translation to the artwork at the bottom of the artwork where it says ‘Add your interpretation’.

Visitors of the website, art exhibitions and workshops we hold will see your creative response. We always will try to make sure the responses are seen by their authors.

Open Call for Source Texts

We invite folks affected by incarceration to submit a work in any means of creative expression, be it a drawing, a photograph or a poem or any other technique that speaks to you. The open call is ongoing and open to all ages. The works submitted will appear online and in any future exhibitions in Finland and abroad.

This exhibition makes use of the translation process as we interact and create new artworks in response to the original artwork. Your work on view encourages the audience to prompt dialogue, inspire thoughts, and creatively activate the space. Your voice is heard and recognized.

You are welcome to submit a piece of work to be included in the Free Translation exhibition. Include the title of the piece, date, materials, and author, if you would like these to be posted along with your artwork

Your artistic contribution is very much appreciated. Works can be emailed to info(at) or mailed to:

Free Translation
Kaasutehtaankatu 1
00580 Helsinki

Please note that the artist is responsible for posting the artworks to be included in the exhibition. By sending us your artworks you give consent to putting them on Prison Space and Translation is Dialogue websites, social media outlets, and including them in the exhibitions in public spaces and online. If for any reason, you wish to be anonymous, please state that clearly. We reserve a right to exhibit a selected number of works.

To keep up to date on Free Translation happenings, please check, and

We hope to see you there!

Anastasia Artemeva & Arlene Tucker


Free Translation is a continuously growing interactive space that exhibits art by people affected by incarceration. Please feel free to contact us at info(at)

Free Translation Sessions is a collaboration of two projects: Prison Outside and Translation is Dialogue (TID). We are based in Helsinki, Finland. Prison Outside focuses on the role of the arts in subjects of imprisonment, justice, and in the relationships between people in prisons and people outside. TID is an ongoing art curation that generates a new project every time it is presented. TID uses translation techniques to not only produce art, but also understand what is being communicated.

To keep up to date and learn more about our projects, please visit, and

Thank you and we look forward to seeing your artwork!


Anastasia Artemeva & Arlene Tucker

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Tomás - Spatial Translation, 2020


  • Danai Anagnostou says:


    Scale is inconsistent. Somehow I ended up drawing a pond in the middle of the room, probably that happened when Arlene dictated “sea green”

    In the middle of the pond you have the chairs that will not diffuse any toxic fumes in case of fire and then a fire avatar burning down from a large and disproportionate computer. Next to the computer there is a Janus phased small person with very prominent collar bones, listening to the loud sounds coming from the long tables. How is that relaxing to the loudspeaker that is found perpendicularly under another large computer on the far left of the picture?

    I5 feet further there is another human figure that I cannot recall who it was meant to represent. A bossy looking person stands behind the four TVs.

  • Danai Anagnostou says:

    Interpretation by Danai

  • Kate Auman says:

    Dots of people and objects sprawl across a cold space. Machines – smooth, desks – smooth, everything – smooth. Nothing to wrap oneself in. Exposure, inner space interrupted by shared space.

  • Utkarsh says:

    part 2

  • Utkarsh says:

    Part 1

  • Utkarsh says:

    *Drawing Interpretation*

    As I look longer at it, it appears to me that the person has an accident. The tables laid out appear to be a zebra-crossing and the hand reaches out to the cassette player (I don’t know why I drew that and the hair, maybe both add some sort of mysticism to me: the flow of long hair strands and the earphone wires). Since all of it appeared to be thoughts at the library I put that aura in there : radiating and thinking. Cell bars appear to be flyover pillars and the audience in front of the screen seems like overweight ants.

  • Jo says:


    The lines + patterns + flows are everywhere- there is such a functionality to the way it all exists here. The objects hold space and speak- setting such a dense tone for the whole room. Sounds cut through and rupture, I can’t find a place to rest. Politics are intertwined with everything and make it hard for my body to breathe with ease. Things are happening all the time- it’s like the stage for a play.

    Bouncing, colliding, touching, wandering- hitting off the edges and continuing.

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