Gathering the Excluded Voice: The TXT Inside/TXT Outside Project


  • Richard Owen University of Essex



The TXT Inside/TXT Outside Project was an interdisciplinary community legal education project. It was a collaboration between a legal academic, computing and social scientists, and a conceptual artist. The project involved young offenders held under secure conditions in a Young Offender Institution using text art to reflect on their experiences of law, life and the legal system. The aim of the project was to engage the young offenders and the general public in a discussion about the treatment of young offenders using narrative techniques. The voices of young people held in custody (Inside) were ‘gathered’ and ‘released’, to be seen, heard and responded to by the public at large (Outside). The focal point of the action was a ‘stage event’ in the centre of Cardiff, where the text messages of a small group of young people in custody were displayed on a large screen, with the public being invited to respond by texting their own messages. A documentary film from the event, which included the projections and interviews with the public, was subsequently shown to and discussed with participating young people in custody.






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