The politics of prison air: breath, smell, and wind in Myanmar prisons
Tomas Max Martin, DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against Torture

Tomas will explore what air means and entails in penal settings and examines how carcerality attaches itself to air. With inspiration from social science approaches to the study of air, he proposes that the lived experience of prison air can be fruitfully analyzed through the notions of breath, smell, and wind. His work explores this point through two incidents about prison air drawn from ethnographic fieldwork in Myanmar.


Tomas Max Martin is a trained anthropologist with a PhD in Development Studies (2013). He specializes in prison ethnography and the anthropology of the state with a focus on the localization of human rights and reform processes and the appropriation of new technologies and penal architectures. Martin is currently a senior researcher at DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against Torture.

This is the first workshop in the 2022 series of s which are co-organised by Professor Richard Sparks, SCCJR/University of Máximo Sozzo from Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina.