The Bricks Keep The Record

Lisette Alberti

Keywords: Prison, Carcerality, Politics of memory

The Bricks Keep The Record is a multimedia installation focusing on a building in The Hague, The International City of Peace & Justice, which has served as a prison under different political and ideological circumstances since its establishment. It has been utilized as a prison by the Nazis during the Second World War, and is currently still used as a prison by the Dutch government and as a detention facility by the International Criminal Court.

The installation, consisting of a soundscape, collage and bricks, focuses on the physicality of the building itself as a witness. The historic building observes the comings and goings of those who pass through it in ever-changing roles of incarcerated and incarcerator – a metaphorical archive of experiences. Exploring the interplay between the prison's physicality and the stories it silently holds, the work prompts contemplation on the use of incarceration as a tool to serve justice, and the ideological and political conditions that shape the understanding of criminality. As an enduring entity, the building bears witness to the evolving narratives of justice, criminality and human resilience within its walls.