ART & WRITING BY THE UNFREE
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London artist and writer Chris Wilson was born in Newcastle, grew up in Dar es Salaam, East Africa, and moved to the USA in the 1970s. After years of living on the streets and in the prisons of California, he tells his almost unbearable life story in his first book ‘Horse Latitudes‘.
Date: March 12, 2015
As debates about rehabilitation in prison continue to rage, Georgia Bea-Edkins explores the undervalued potential role of art within the criminal justice system, with insight from Not Shut Up staff and friends…
Car pollution cloys like sweat-drenched clothing to the faux Grecian façade of Pentonville Prison; a steady reminder of its internal tragedy. This B-cat prison is the holding bay for men undone by the Aristotelean touch; once the kings of the streets, the masterful rulers of society’s unkempt underbelly, now a statistic.
Date: February 1, 2015
With the dust beginning to settle on January’s alarming terrorist attacks in Paris against the satricial magazine Charlie Hebdo, Not Shut Up’s Marek Kazmierski offers his thoughts.
As the editor of an arts magazine which represents the darker aspect of our society – prisons, mental hospitals, immigration detention centres – expectation to write something about the tragic killings in and around Paris this week falls upon me.
Yet I do so reluctantly, thinking all the time how to avoid some of the ideas and phrases which we will already have become accustomed to – cartoons, hashtags, tweets and the like.
Date: January 13, 2015
Marek Kazmierski is a writer, translator and publisher – and the editor of Not Shut Up. Marek escaped communist Poland as a child, studied literature and comparative religion in London, before going on to work with refugees, prisoners and care in the community patients. Until recently, he was the Head of Diversity at HMYOI Feltham. Georgia Bea-Edkins interviewed him.
How important is a creative outlet for a prisoner?
Marek Kazmierski: Well, the opposite of creative is destructive, so I would say it is life-savingly essential. We have allowed ourselves to see creativity as a luxury, culture as a given, freedom of expression as a fact of life.
Date: December 22, 2014
Not Shut Up recently participated in a panel discussion about prison poetry at The Saison Poetry Library at Royal Festival Hall.
Managing Editor Marek Kazmierski joined human rights campaigner Hamja Ahsan and Pat Winslow, ex writer-in-residence at HMP Long Lartin prison, for a passionate discussion about the benefits of poetry and it’s ability to empower the lives of those locked up.
Date: November 24, 2014
Maria Jastrzębska is a poet, editor and translator. She was born in Warsaw, Poland but came to England as a child. At The Library of Memories, her most recent, third full length collection was published by Waterloo Press in 2013. She recently taught a poetry workshop in HMP Wandsworth with Safe Ground‘s Groundation Poetry project. Here is here account of her day and views on why encouraging creativity in unfree settings is more important than ever.
Why do we do things that scare us?
The day before I was due to teach a poetry workshop to the Polish community in HMP Wandsworth for Safe Ground’s Groundation Poetry project, Marek Kazmierski friend and editor of Not Shut Up magazine sent me a link to a Guardian article by Zoe Williams about conditions inside Wandsworth prison.
Date: October 24, 2014
From robbery to writing, the fascinating David Rickerby has lived a remarkable life on the streets of Europe. Marek Kazmierski meets him.
Knowing I edit a magazine of unfree arts, people send me all sorts of interesting things. A while back, someone emailed me a link to an online TV programme about a library, in Denmark. It turned out to be the most interesting and unusual story, featuring an English ex-bank robber, who sleeps in a park, spends his days reading books, lives from recycling other people’s waste and has written a story of his life, titled Bloody Fields, which is due to be published soon thanks to a crowd-funding campaign by local people.
Date: September 30, 2014
Marek Kazmierski, Not Shut Up‘s Managing Editor, took Dean Stalham, our 25th issue’s cover star, on the quarterly dash around London’s prisons to deliver our latest magazine. Here’s his diary from an eventful day in the capital…
The life of a managing editor is full of glamour and adventure. This of course includes personally delivering a thousand copies of our magazine to nine London jails in a single day of driving, four times a year.
Date: August 6, 2014
An update from Marek Kazmierski, Not Shut Up’s Managing Editor, who recently attended the annual prison librarians conference in London.
I have done many jobs in life, but none I think ever as cool as the couple of years I spent teaching creative writing to prisoners from 50 different nationalities in the library at HMP Feltham.
There is something totally strange about working in a prison library – the dullest, safest profession in the world locked away behind the bars of one of the craziest, most dangerous workplaces imaginable.
Date: May 30, 2014
June 25, 2015
April 15, 2015
April 15, 2015