Prison walls are a symbol of violence and oppression throughout the world. To denounce social ills and even abuses related to this, Amnesty International transformed walls in public spaces into “Wailing Walls against Injustice”. Images of barred doors and windows were installed on these walls to create the impression of prison cell walls, behind which eight real destinies from eight different countries were concealed. People encountering this ambient installation could learn more about the persons behind bars via QR code or a URL, and were asked to leave their personal desires and hopes for justice on a virtual wailing wall. Passers-by thus became part of a large petition that was forwarded to the appropriate government officials at the end of the campaign. In addition, social media such as Twitter and Facebook also helped to promote the “Wailing Walls”, so that this installation event managed to address people in their immediate environment and those beyond it, and thus, in a highly unusual way, succeeded in drawing attention to a human rights issue.
Statement by the jury
»This installation in the public space adopts an approach that is as impressive as it is haunting in its attempt to bring attention to the issue of violence behind bars. It affects recipients directly as they are confronted in their immediate environment. Not only is the design implementation outstanding, the possibility and focus on interacting and direct engagement are also excellently solved.«