The Nelson Mandela Rules (2015) state that:
“All prisoners shall be treated with the respect due to their inherent dignity and value as human beings. No prisoner shall be subjected to, and all prisoners shall be protected from, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Solitary confinement is a punishment deemed inhumane and degrading by many human rights groups globally because of the harsh effects on people’s physical and psychological health. These effects can include chronic depression, psychosis, paranoia, hypersensitivity, perceptual disorientation, blunting of apathy and self-mutilation. Those who’ve been subjected to solitary confinement are also 78% more likely to commit suicide within the first year of release as well as re-offend and show more violent behaviour (JAMA, 2019).
The Hole: A Journey Through Solitude is an exhibition experience was designed by Imogen Wells to educate viewers about the harsh effects of long-term isolation and make them question the role it plays in criminal justice systems around the world. Visitors navigate themselves around the exhibition through dark and disorientating corridors into rooms that aim to put you into the shoes of prisoners and explore sensory deprivation. It’s a journey that’s shocking, emotional and unsettling.