CALL FOR STORIES - The Exile Nation "Unheard Voices" Documentary Project

The Exile Nation "Unheard Voices" documentary project is seeking interviews and testimonials from offenders, ex-offenders, family members, and relevant experts on the far ranging consequences of a criminal conviction.
Charles Shaw
5 July 2010


The Unheard Voices documentary project is seeking interviews and testimonials from offenders, ex-offenders, family members, and relevant experts, on the far ranging consequences of a criminal conviction.

Inspired by Steven Spielberg's Shoah Project, which gathered video testimonies from survivors and other witnesses to the Holocaust, the Unheard Voices documentary project is building an archive of testimonies on the cultural holocaust that has been the War on Drugs.

"No issue has had more impact on the criminal justice system in the past three decades than national drug policy. The 'war on drugs,' officially declared in the early 1980s, has been the primary contributor to the enormous growth of the prison system in the United States during the last quarter-century and has affected all aspects of the criminal justice system and, consequently, American society." ~ The Sentencing Project, "A 25 Year Quagmire: The 'War on Drugs' and its Impact on American Society." (2007)

If you or anyone in your family has had a criminal conviction for a nonviolent drug-related offense, we would like to hear about the lasting impacts to your lives, and how you overcame your circumstances, or were permanently affected. Your stories will help put a human face on a critical social issue that has been overwhelmed by fear, politics, racial prejudice, and intolerance, in an era where the public attitude has been, "out of sight, out of mind." When the stories hit home, the policies begin to change.

We seek written testimonials and interview subjects for our video archive. If you would like your voice to be heard please contact Director Charles Shaw at [email protected].

Unheard Voices is a collaborative venture of the Exile Nation Project, openDemocracy and the Tedworth Charitable Trust. Interviews & Testimonials will be initially published on the openDemocracy Drug Policy Forum.

~ Charles Shaw
Author - Exile Nation: Drugs, Prisons, Politics & Spirituality
Director - The Unheard Voices Documentary Project
Editor - The Dictionary of Ethical Politics & the openDemocracy Drug Policy Forum

Is gesture politics hindering progress against racism?

We have all seen a huge explosion around the debate on structural racism in recent weeks.

But that has been accompanied by corporate statements that many activists say are meaningless and will lead to little change.

How true is that? How can the movement against racism deliver long-lasting change instead?

Join us on Thursday 9 July at 5pm UK time/12pm EDT for a free live discussion.

Hear from:

Evadney Campbell Managing director and co-founder of Shiloh PR. A former BBC broadcast journalist, she was awarded an MBE in 1994 for her services to the African and Caribbean communities in Gloucester.

Sunder Katwala Director of British Future, a think-tank on identity and integration

Sayeeda Warsi Member of the House of Lords, pro-vice chancellor at Bolton University and author of ‘The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain’.

Chair: Henry Bonsu Broadcaster who has worked on some of the UK's biggest current affairs shows, including BBC Radio 4's Today. He is a regular pundit on Channel 5's Jeremy Vine Show, BBC News Briefing and MSNBC's Joy Reid Show.

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