TED日本語 - ナリーニ・ナドカーニ: 刑務所内の生命科学



TED日本語 - ナリーニ・ナドカーニ: 刑務所内の生命科学

TED Talks

Life science in prison
Nalini Nadkarni




Trees epitomize stasis. Trees are rooted in the ground in one place for many human generations, but if we shift our perspective from the trunk to the twigs, trees become very dynamic entities, moving and growing. And I decided to explore this movement by turning trees into artists. I simply tied the end of a paintbrush onto a twig. I waited for the wind to come up and held up a canvas, and that produced art. The piece of art you see on your left is painted by a western red cedar and that on your right by a Douglas fir, and what I learned was that different species have different signatures, like a Picasso versus a Monet.

But I was also interested in the movement of trees and how this art might let me capture that and quantify it, so to measure the distance that a single vine maple tree -- which produced this painting -- moved in a single year, I simply measured and summed each of those lines. I multiplied them by the number of twigs per branch and the number of branches per tree and then divided that by the number of minutes per year. And so I was able to calculate how far a single tree moved in a single year. You might have a guess. The answer is actually 186,540 miles, or seven times around the globe. And so simply by shifting our perspective from a single trunk to the many dynamic twigs, we are able to see that trees are not simply static entities, but rather extremely dynamic.

And I began to think about ways that we might consider this lesson of trees, to consider other entities that are also static and stuck, but which cry for change and dynamicism, and one of those entities is our prisons. Prisons, of course, are where people who break our laws are stuck, confined behind bars. And our prison system itself is stuck. The United States has over 2.3 million incarcerated men and women. That number is rising. Of the 100 incarcerated people that are released,60 will return to prison. Funds for education, for training and for rehabilitation are declining, so this despairing cycle of incarceration continues. I decided to ask whether the lesson I had learned from trees as artists could be applied to a static institution such as our prisons, and I think the answer is yes.

In the year 2007, I started a partnership with the Washington State Department of Corrections. Working with four prisons, we began bringing science and scientists, sustainability and conservation projects to four state prisons. We give science lectures, and the men here are choosing to come to our science lectures instead of watching television or weightlifting. That, I think, is movement. We partnered with the Nature Conservancy for inmates at Stafford Creek Correctional Center to grow endangered prairie plants for restoration of relic prairie areas in Washington state. That, I think, is movement. We worked with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to grow endangered frogs -- the Oregon spotted frog -- for later release into protected wetlands. That, I think, is movement.

And just recently, we've begun to work with those men who are segregated in what we call Supermax facilities. They've incurred violent infractions by becoming violent with guards and with other prisoners. They're kept in bare cells like this for 23 hours a day. When they have meetings with their review boards or mental health professionals, they're placed in immobile booths like this. For one hour a day they're brought to these bleak and bland exercise yards. Although we can't bring trees and prairie plants and frogs into these environments, we are bringing images of nature into these exercise yards, putting them on the walls, so at least they get contact with visual images of nature. This is Mr. Lopez, who has been in solitary confinement for 18 months, and he's providing input on the types of images that he believes would make him and his fellow inmates more serene, more calm, less apt to violence.

And so what we see, I think, is that small, collective movements of change can perhaps move an entity such as our own prison system in a direction of hope. We know that trees are static entities when we look at their trunks. But if trees can create art, if they can encircle the globe seven times in one year, if prisoners can grow plants and raise frogs, then perhaps there are other static entities that we hold inside ourselves, like grief, like addictions, like racism, that can also change.

Thank you very much.


木は静止状態の典型です 根を張ると何世代もの間 同じ地にあります しかし視点を 幹から小枝に移すと 木は活発な動体となります 動き成長するのです 私はこの動きを探究するため 木を芸術家にしました 単純に 小枝に筆の先端を結びました 風を待ち、カンバスを保持しました すると芸術を生み出すのです 左の絵は ベイスギが 右はダグラスファーが描きました 木にはそれぞれ特徴があり それはまるでピカソとモネのようです

しかし私は木の動きをどう捉え 数量化するかに興味を持ちました それでこの絵を描いたツタカエデの 年間運動距離を測るために 個々のラインを 測定合計しました それに枝1本当りの小枝数と 木1本当りの枝数を掛けて 1年を分換算したもので割りました それで木1本の 年間運動距離を計算できました どれだけかわかりますか 186,540マイル 地球7周分です 単に視点をひとつの幹から たくさんの動的な小枝に移すことで 木は単なる静物ではなく 極めて躍動的だとわかるのです

私はこの木から学んだことの 生かし方を考え 静的で行き場がないが変化と躍動を 求める他の存在物を考え始めました その1つが刑務所です 刑務所は法を犯した人が 監禁拘束されている所です 刑務所制度自体も行き詰っています 全米で230万人以上の 男女が投獄されており その数は増加しています 釈放された人の6割が 刑務所に戻ってきます 教育、職業訓練、社会復帰の 資金は減少しています この投獄の悪循環は終わりません 芸術家としての木から 学んだことが静的施設に 適用できるかを調べました 刑務所のような施設です 答えはイエスです

2007年に ワシントン州更生局との 提携を発足しました 4刑務所と協働で、科学と科学者 持続可能性と保全プロジェクトを 4つの州刑務所に持ち込みました 我々は科学の講義をします 囚人は科学講義に来ます TVや重量挙げの代わりです それは動きだと思います スタフォードクリーク矯正センターの 囚人のために自然管理委員会と組み 絶滅危惧植物を栽培しました 州に残された大草原を復元するためです これも動きだと思います ワシントン州野生生物局と協働し 絶滅危惧種のカエルを飼育し 後に保護湿地に放流しました これも動きです

最近協働しているのは 最高レベル警備施設に 隔離されている囚人です 亀裂骨折を負っています 看守や他の囚人と 暴力沙汰になったのです 何もない個室に隔離です 1日23時間です 審査委員や精神科医との面接の際 身動きできないブースに入ります 1日1時間閑散とした 味気ない運動場に連れて来られます 木や植物、カエルを 身近な環境に持ち込めませんが 自然のイメージを 運動場に取り込み 壁も植物で覆うので 自然のイメージと接触できるのです 18ヵ月間独房にいるロペス氏です 彼はあるイメージを提供してくれます 自分自身や仲間を 平穏安静にし 非暴力的にする理想型です

ご覧の通り 変化を求める小さな動きが集まれば 動かすことができるのです 刑務所制度のようなものを 希望に導くのです 幹だけを見ると 木は静物です でも木が芸術を創造できるなら 1年に地球を7周できるなら 囚人が植物やカエルを飼育するなら 我々の内面にある 他の静物、例えば 悲痛、中毒 人種差別なども 同様に変えられるのです



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