Safe Ground - Using drama to educate prisoners and young people at risk in the community


A no-frills education room became a hub for progressive thoughts.

Nana Ocran writes about her third and final day of teaching at HMP Wandsworth as part of the Transitions course



Reaching the final 

So here we are, our third and final day. A re-cap of scenes, some tweaks and directorial debates about dialogue, visions, music and potential casting. Bursts of ideas came from our final mind mapping sessions when perceptions of age, culture, accents, music and dress sense were convivially argued over. Role-play and reactions added dynamism to the day, with feedback from all participants providing something of an education for all. ‘Stick to our dialogue, it’s our true language’ was one comment. ‘Will our vision be given justice on screen?’ was another. Watching the group work, interact and creatively grow together felt like being allowed into an intimate circle; a world within a world where a mid-sized, no-frills education room became a hub for progressive thoughts, respectful interaction and something of an incubator for intricate and specifically individual skill sets – from scribing to drawing to storytelling and debate. A great day, where personal certificates were handed out and speeches made. Verbal reflections included the honest admission from a particularly assertive participant whose comment, ‘I didn’t think this would be possible in three days’, was followed up with a ‘thank you for treating us like individuals’. This led to short bursts of personal words from group members, a blessing, and an impromptu psalm that was read out to an hushed an appreciative room. Watch out for our December screening, where we hope to fulfill our Transitions groups wish to see a short film that provides ‘an authentic representation of the words and visions’ that were collaboratively created.


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