In the summer of 2013, Grammy-winning producer, Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, TV on the Radio) and his wife, Italian photographer and filmmaker, Marilena Delli, traveled to the south of Malawi specifically to document and record the music of prisoners at the maximum security prison in Zomba.
Zomba prison is a dilapidated brick structure that resembles a factory from a Dickens novel and was built in the 19th century. Designed to hold 340 people, today it houses over two thousand. Plus, many of the guards also live on the grounds, just outside the walls. The head of prisons allowed Brennan and Delli access for the project in exchange for Brennan’s offering a series of classes on violence prevention to inmates and guards.