Thousands of South Koreans pay money for several days of isolation in special complexes with cameras.
In 2013, the Prison Inside Me complex (“The prison inside me”) appeared in South Korea, which is a temporary “prison” for those who are tired of everyday life or are saved from burnout. “Prisoners” come there and pay money to be placed in cells, where smartphones and talking to other people are prohibited.
Over five years of work, the complex was visited by more than two thousand people. According to the founders of the “prison”, the majority of clients are office workers and students who want to rest from a busy schedule and daily routine. In 2017, Koreans worked an average of 2027 hours — the third longest result in the world.
According to Noh Ji-Hyang, co-founder of the project, the idea came to her mind after her husband’s complaints: he said that he would have spent better time in solitary confinement if only he didn’t return to the schedule 100 hours a week.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]After people come to us, they say: “This is not a real prison, this prison is where we will return later.”[/perfectpullquote]
Reuters journalists visited the prison and looked at how it looked from the inside.
After arrival, visitors are given a blue uniform, most of their personal belongings are taken from them for the period of voluntary conclusion. The time spent in the “prison” is limited to 24 or 48 hours. In the cells – the minimum set: a pair of lockers, a yoga mat, a pen, a notebook and a tea set. There are no beds – people sleep on the floor.
Employees bring food to the “prisoners” and pass through a special hole in the door – as in some real-life cameras. One visit to the complex costs about $ 90 (6 thousand rubles). “This prison gave me a sense of freedom,” said Park Hye-ri, a 28-year-old office worker, after leaving the room.