Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Koestler, Again

Art submitted to the Koestler competition is offered for public sale, and some remarkable pieces can be bought. Due to this, prisoner art scattered across the land, and even public authorities are known to buy these works for their public areas. This is all a good thing.
However. Of the sale price, the prisoner-artist only receives 50 percent. Of the rest, 25 percent is retained by Koestler to fund its activities, and the last 25 percent is "donated" to victims charities.
This is a relatively new development and it follows neatly in the footsteps of every other opportunity being taken to deprive prisoners of what little money we have and throwing it at victims groups.
It may be acceptable for the Courts to levy such deductions, and it may be practical politics for our wages to be hit with a 40 percent Victims Tax. But why should a charity intended to foster prisoner creativity and change - Koestler - be playing this game? Why are they taking a quarter of each prisoners sales and giving it away?


  1. I suppose because they're the only game in town and can get away with it...

    Perhaps an alternative should be setup that isn't engaging in what is at the end of the day outright theft? Something to think about when you get out maybe?

  2. Just because they are a charity does not mean that they are immune to politics. If popular opinion turned on them, I doubt they could survive very long. So donating some money to victims charities may be seen by them as a way of avoiding nothing going to the prisoner. A short trip to their website shows that the first thing they feel they have to do is defend their work. Google "Koestler" and "Daily Mail" and you begin to see why.

    Maybe they should have more guts. However, Charities still live in the real world.

  3. clearly you have yet to experience the joy of 'chuggers' Ben, something to look forward to...

  4. Hrm, I notice my comment on this article was silently censored, do I get an explanation for that?

  5. Well, don't submit your art for sale. Hand it out on a visit, and get someone to put it on ebay for you. Meanwhile, write a book, Jeffery Archer did (which i thought was a great read, and relate to as a straight goer who did a short stint inside). I doubt he donated the proceeds to any charity. And good for him, making the best of a bad situation, and using his time to make money.

    1. Only someone who has never been to prison can believe that Jeffrey Archer wrote anything other than utter bilge! Ben.

  6. Hideki, the spam filter occasionally has a mind of its own! I have retrieved it. Ed.

  7. Ah, thanks for that, thought it'd been manually deleted as it did seem to have been published when I wrote it, perhaps that's the system trying to trick real spammers into thinking their efforts have met with success! Please excuse my rather abrupt previous message, was just a little taken aback -.-


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