Free Translation / Свободный перевод

Translation made with Mikhail Agafonov’s group on his visit to correctional facility for young female offenders in Russia. Интерпретация, выполненная на мастер-классе Михаила Агафонова в девичьей воспитательной колонии в России. - Words and Image, 2019

Free Translation is a multi-disciplinary exhibition showcasing international works generated from an open call to incarcerated people, ex-convicts, and anyone affected by imprisonment. It premiered at MAA-tila in Helsinki from November 15-29, 2018 as part of Prison Outside #2, and has since been showcased in Bokvilla, Helsinki and in Moscow State University of Psychology and Educaiton, Moscow, Russia. The exhibition also exists as an interactive online platform. 

Free Translation exhibition makes use of the translation process as we interact and create new artworks in the gallery space and online. Your works on view will encourage the audience to prompt dialogue, inspire thoughts, and creatively activate the space. Your voice is heard and recognized. 

The call for artworks is ongoing and open to all ages.

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

Free Translation
℅ Pixelache
Kaasutehtaankatu 1
00580 Helsinki

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 inspires more thoughts, feelings, and perspectives to be shared and to be sparked.

In our monthly Free Translation Sessions we first view and discuss the artworks of Free Translation exhibition. After our own artworks are created by means of interpretation or  translation they are subsequently uploaded to the exhibition website. There they can be viewed by authors and the public, who will be able to create own response. To participate in the meeting, artistic skills are not required, and all materials are provided by the organizers. The “translation” will serve as inspiration for new feelings, thoughts and perspectives, and the creative interactions will continue.

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

Free Translation is a collaboration of two projects; Prison Outside & Translation is Dialogue (TID). Prison Outside is an independent international project founded in 2015. The research behind this project is centred on the subjects of imprisonment, justice, and the role of the arts in the relationships between people in prisons and people outside. Inclusivity and spaces for listening are at the core of our project. Its focus is on artistic practices, be it prisoners’ own initiatives or designed educational projects that promote self-expression, empathy and communication between people of all backgrounds. It also offers a platform for production of artistic projects related to imprisonment, currently with a focus on Finland and Russia. We believe that there needs to be a cross-border conversation about incarceration. Translation is Dialogue (TID) is an art curation that generates a new project every time it is presented. This is due to the fact that every showing, the participation of new people, the medium they choose to express themselves with, the context of their creation, and how art inspires them changes. TID originated as an academic paper and presentation at the Art in Translation conference in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2010. It has expanded to interactive installations, exhibitions and performances, as well as educational workshops. Each phase of the TID series strives to challenge existing accessibility, dialogue, and participation in multidisciplinary art and the multiple languages in which we ingest and conceive; translate and share them. Contributing artists have come from the Americas, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, as well as Eastern, Central and Western Europe, and Scandinavia.