Paperchains, a project which records writing by prisoners, homeless people and members of the armed forces about the coronavirus lockdown, has received Arts Council funding and will now become a book and touring production.
The project was launched last year by author A G Smith and founder of prison literature project Penned Up David Kendall. It received entries from across the UK and shares experiences of prisoners spending 23 hours each day locked in a cell for months on end with no visitors, as well as addicts who were just starting to recover and rebuild their lives. The project aims to share "voices from inside the storm" whose stories are rarely heard.
Sam Ruddock, director of Story Machine which will work on the poject, said: "The Covid-19 lockdowns have been significant for all of us. But while some of us have support to fall back on, others had a very different experience. Reading the entries for Paperchains was an eye-opening and emotional process of stepping into other shoes.
"I can’t wait to bring these experiences to life and to work with outsider artists to share our show with people. I want to say a huge thank you to Arts Council England for believing in our vision. And to Alan, David, and Nell Leyshon for their support and enthusiasm."
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