Research Output

Film: On the Outside

  On the Outside, is the outcome of an educational film project that was a collaboration with women who were serving sentences in HMP Polmont.
The project was undertaken in two parts. The first part ran inside the prison over a period of three months, and involved a series of seminars that explored story telling through the medium of film, which were followed up with 1:1 discussions. The project had a working titled of Visual Letters, where we explored how we can use film as a means of communication – a letter to another (for example a family member, friend, or a younger or older self). The initial premise was empowering the participants as authors of their own representation.
The subsequent film - the second part of the project that was created outside of the prison - was based on scripts that recount the women’s stories using their exact spoken words, which were made from audio recordings of the seminars and discussions. It also includes song and poetry. There are four stories that are re-counted by four actors. They explore the four women’s lives, their hopes for the future, their experience of prison, and the relationships and bonds that formed between them.
The film takes place in a single car journey – the car being both a private space but within a public environment - a safe space akin to the education rooms that were occupied during the project and representative of the participants’ desire to be elsewhere.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    01 February 2019

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    PN1993 Motion Pictures

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    791 Public performances

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Gray, P. (2019). Film: On the Outside



Film, cinema, criminal justice, social justice, crime, prison, women, gender violence, human rights, representation

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