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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

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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

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Hear from:

Paolo Gerbaudo Sociologist and political theorist, director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London and author of ‘The Mask and the Flag: Populism and Global Protest’ and ‘The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy’, and of the forthcoming ‘The Great Recoil: Politics After Populism and Pandemic’.

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Spyros A. Sofos Researcher and research coordinator at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University and author of ‘Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe’, ‘Tormented by History’ and ‘Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Civic Networks'.

Chair: Walid el Houri Researcher, journalist and filmmaker based between Berlin and Beirut. He is partnerships editor at openDemocracy and lead editor of its North Africa, West Asia project.

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