GIPI · Grupo Imágenes Palabras e Ideas

Prisons and Humour


In this experience we worked on humour at a penitentiary from the Community of Madrid through the use of new technologies. For this, we approached humour as a strategy to confront the circumstance of living in prison.


Our objectives as researchers refer to the introduction of humour as understood by Bakhtin in his works and the use of the new technologies as tools for the collection and elaboration of information.

Implementation of the experience

This project refers to an experience conducted in a penitentiary in the Community of Madrid in which we worked on new technologies from the perspective of humour.

After several contacts with different humour researchers we had the idea of working this topic within a non-formal context with adults, using new technologies and already consolidated ones as support tools.  We intended to work in the creation of an innovative educational setting in which we introduced new technologies and, at the same time, we worked with humour as a strategy to confront their everyday life in prison, by trying to incorporate it into their day to day. 

The experience was carried out in a women’s prison and as part of a basic computing course within the prison’s adult education program. Within the framework of the project two interventions were conducted, one between March and April 2004 and another one in the month of May 2005.

In this innovative experience we used photography as an awareness tool and the graphical joke as a current events tool, which would help them to reflect upon the importance of humour in their everyday life.


Throughout our intervention, inmates elaborated a number of humoristic photographs, and created Power Point presentations in which they tried to capture a chapter from their prison life in a humoristic tone and certain news in the shape of a graphical joke. The analysis of the sessions allowed us to establish an evolution line between the first thoughts about the idea of humour and their final creations.

Related publications

Alonso Trijueque, M. M., García Sombría, J. M., Lacasa, P., & Martín-Rubio Torralba, M. (2004) ‘Un prácticum de risa: Humor entre rejas’. Madrid: Quevedos (pp. 19-20).

Website Research Group Imágenes, Palabras e Ideas. Madrid. 2009.
Coordination: Pilar Lacasa. Editing and digital support: David Herrero Martínez. Web Master: Luis Briso de Montiano Aldecoa. Graphic Design: Rebeca Ochoa Bernabé

Website Research Group Imágenes, Palabras e Ideas. Madrid. 2009. All rights reserved | Credits - Last Update: 22/10/2011