A Long Way Round

This work has been done between November 2005 and June 2009, always doing the same journey, always visiting the same prison. Gari Garaialde joined the people who was visiting friends and relatives imprisoned in Herrera de la Mancha (Ciudad Real, Spain). Every Friday evening, some people get into a van driven by some volunteers who drive all night long to bring them to Manzanares where this prison is located. They do the visits they are allowed, 40 minutes if it is a normal visit and 2 hours from time to time in a ‘bis-a-bis’. After that they do the same road again to be back home on Saturday night.

Some new people comes and some people goes, as they relatives have been released, but some of them do the trip every Friday, every week, for years and years. Some times they relatives are brought to a different jail and they have to find other ways to go there, other friends to share the time with, other habits to have, other routines to get used to.

This work is about those everlasting nights spent on a van travelling to visit a friend imprisoned in a far away jail. The complicity they get with people after travelling together. Those gas stations that, although they stop there every time, surrounded by the same people, they never get familiar. Those waitresses who treat them like part of their family, even though it could be the first time they see them. Police patrols stopping the van on every single trip. Monotony that invades them after repeating the same trip over and over again surrounded by the same people. The excitement they feel in their way there. Sleeping on the road. The mixture of happiness, desperation and tiredness felt in the way back home.

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