Unwanted books do not have to end up as waste paper. They can be passed down to prisoners. The readership campaign “The Book Behind Bars” is run for the fourth time, but it is the first time for Wrocław Contemporary Museum to get involved.

The collection takes place at the museum box-office. Yet you will not leave empty-handed while bringing books to us, as we exchange at least five books to the “PERMAFO” catalogue – a monograph of a Wroclaw artistic group of the same title.

However, before books end up in hands of prisoners, they will fill shelves of one of Eva Kotatkova’s installations, entitled „Parallel Biography (Speaking library)” (2012). Then, after the exhibition, they will be transported to the Prison in Rawicz and support the local library.

As Agnieszka Kłos, the originator of the campaign, writes: “Behind bars of the Rawicz prison there are prisoners who lean to read and write. In the future they intend to pass their A-Levels, even though today they are secondary illiterates. They have a library in the prison. Its collection mainly consists of books that are 50-year old or more. On the shelves you can find propaganda brochures, school books with incomplete information on history, outdated news from physics, chemistry or biology. Convicts do not want to lose their contact with the outer world. Books are one of their chances.

Go through your shelves and cabinets. Check bookcases, spare rooms and cellars. You will certainly find there books which you have read several times, deemed unnecessary, outdated and useless for yourselves. I know how many book one can collect throughout one’s life without ever coming back to them. Prisoners want to read what everyone else does: fiction, best-sellers, contemporary history textbooks, comics, good magazines and language learning books. Open book cabinets at your homes, and thanks to that someone on the other side of the wall will open his head”.

“The Book Behind Bars” campaign is a unique chance to help prisoners from Rawicz and to contribute to the artistic installation, to bee viewed until 5th January 2014 at the MWW exhibition.