The Project

Luthiery workshop in jail

From the "behind bars" world, the voice and sounds of a forgotten humanity

In the Opera Prison, a violin making workshop was started, conducted by prestigious masters of the Stradivari Institute of Cremona and supported by the Lombardy Region. Inmates attend the laboratory every day of the week. The ultimate goal of this project is the social and professional reintegration of people with social marginalization. The violins, unique pieces, the result of hours of skilful craftsmanship have come to life thanks to the work of the prisoners, to excite people with the power of music and art. One of the violins made in violinmaking was transformed by Jannis Kounellis, father of poor art, one of the greatest contemporary artists, into a work of great civil testimony. Art therefore, in its various expressions, arises in the project as listening and therefore "voice" of the world "behind bars", and at the same time as a stimulus to a reworking of national prison policy and for the construction of an innovative, but concrete , model of training in prison. The project therefore intends to denounce, through "beauty", the drama of a submerged and forgotten humanity, not only in Italy but in many places in the world.


Some violins produced by the lutherie were donated to the Milan Conservatory, delivered to children and young people in difficulty and their peers of Roma ethnicity who held scholarships that fully covered the study expenses at the institution. Currently, after the training that has involved five people detained in recent years, the project is involving a new small group of aspiring violin makers, who will always be coordinated by highly experienced masters.

What can you do

Support this project

Support jail workshops in prison donating a one-year-training to a prisoner.