Avant Guard involved Helix Arts and artist Craig Conway working with residents within a NE prison, to focus on their voices, mindset and understanding from their lives inside and outside the criminal justice system. Craig – an actor, writer, director and producer – facilitated conversations and creative exercises that looked towards the complexities of individuals’ experiences and circumstances and finds where, if possible, a positive shared influence could be introduced to educate and inspire change. A blog post from the Institute of Criminology can be found here.
Due to the pandemic, the project was delayed until Autumn 2021, when the lifting of lockdown restrictions allowed us to enter the prison and have face to face, small group workshops with the residents. Sessions were flexible and person centred, and involved the use of creative writing, prose, poetry, sound, drawing, journals in order to share experiences. The conversations were developed into a sound piece presented as a conversation between a resident and his younger self.
Listen to the full piece here.