News

Working Safely during Covid-19

Keshena Bowie

In response to current Covid-19 restrictions, we've adapted some of our interactive training performances to be delivered online for up to 100 delegates.

We've also been working hard with partners in the community, in mental health settings and in prisons to ensure we can still work creatively with participants in these settings.

If you're interested in working with us on a project but don't know how it can work under current restrictions - head to our landing page to find out more and get in touch!

We would love to hear from you if you have an idea for a project or training event.

Free online Q&A Session

Keshena Bowie

Every month we're hosting an online Question and Answer session exploring the work of Geese and the broader arts in criminal justice sector. The sessions have been attended by a wide range of practitioners, artists, students and other people interested in discovering more about the work from all over the world. Each month we'll focus on a theme which has either been requested or which we think will be of value for attendees, and then of course the session will be shaped by the questions you ask.

The next session:
Thursday 29th October, 2pm-3.30pm

The sessions are very informal you can drop in as you wish. They are also free!

To book your place simply send an email to: info@geese.co.uk.

Black Lives Matter

Andy Watson

Geese Theatre Company works at the intersection of two systems: the arts and the criminal justice system.

We know that at every stage of the criminal justice system, from stop and search through to sentence length, Black people are disproportionately over-represented: Statistics on race in the CJS 2018  

We also know that Black people are under-represented amongst employees of National Portfolio Organisations, and even more so when it comes to leadership roles such as Chief Executive or Artistic Director:  ACE Equality and Diversity Statistics.

As an organisation one of our core values is a belief in change. Primarily when we talk about this value, we are referring to the potential for individuals to make changes in their own lives. However, we also acknowledge that there needs to be fundamental change within the systems in which we deliver our work and that we must be part of that change. If we are not part of that change then we are part of the problem.

Our Black practitioners experience specific challenges when working within the Criminal Justice System. At a prison gate waiting to begin a project and two white practitioners are waved through whilst the Black practitioner is subjected to a thorough search and suspicious glances. Or when our team are waiting to leave a prison after a day’s work and our Black colleague is told by an officer to join a queue of other prisoners – a situation which was resolved only when a white colleague intervened. We see our own team impacted by it, and we see the client groups we work with impacted by it. 

We will not to be silent; we will not to be complicit; we will challenge intolerance, prejudice, and racism.

One of the key principles which underpins our work is that of being reflective. At this moment it is imperative that as individuals and as an organisation we spend time reflecting on our own prejudices and privileges and deepen our commitment to educating ourselves, equipping ourselves with knowledge and understanding of the historical systemic and institutional racism designed to create and perpetuate inequality, so we can be a greater part of the change we need to see within the systems we work in, and wider society. 

Some useful resources:

On racism in the UK Criminal Justice System:

  • For anyone who considers that this is an issue in the USA and that it doesn’t apply in the UK then we would recommend taking a look at the 2017 Report of the Independent Review of Deaths and Serious Incidents in Police Custody and specifically chapter 5 which focuses on ethnicity. Amongst other key findings, the author of the report, Dame Elish Angiolini comments: “There is also evidence to suggest that dangerous restraint techniques and excessive force are disproportionately used on Black, Asian and minority ethnic people.”

  • For more information about the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic individuals in the Criminal Justice System we highly recommend reading The Lammy Review. Although published in September 2017 many of the issues highlighted are still very relevant today and most of the recommendations still need to be acted on.
     
  • A more recent blog post by Nina Champion, Director of the Criminal Justice Alliance, in which she argues that more needs to be done following the Lammy Review, to rebuild trust in the CJS. 
     
  • A 2015 edition of Criminal Justice Matters, titled #BlackLivesMatter, contains a series of articles exploring a range of issues around the disproportionality of Black and Muslim men in the UK Criminal Justice System.

Resources for education on the issues:

  • Do the work - a website that includes things to listen to, read and watch to help educate on racism
     
  • A GoogleDocs document with ideas of ways to help (petitions, reading and education material, places to donate, ways to protest etc)

 Where to donate:

We’re hiring a Finance Officer!

Keshena Bowie

Geese require a Finance Officer to work on a part time basis from our offices in Moseley, Birmingham.

This is an exciting opportunity for the right candidate to join our small team of administration staff and theatre professionals who specialise in the delivery of performances and drama-based workshops in criminal justice and social welfare settings.

The successful candidate would be required to work 3 days a week (flexible work pattern available) and would report directly into the company's CEO.

Click here to find out more and apply!

Deadline: Monday 27th January at 10am

Geese Theatre Company at BEDLAM Festival

Keshena Bowie

We're delighted to be part of BEDLAM Festival 2019 - and we'd love you to join us at one of our performances.

Our Staging Recovery ensemble will be performing their latest piece of devised drama, Switched On - an exploration of addiction and the media. Find out more and book tickets here.

Geese are performing a theatre of testimony play created by Helena Enright as part of a Wellcome Trust-funded project with the University of Warwick and HMP Peterborough. Playing the Game explores real experiences of motherhood in prison. Find out more and book your ticket here.

Thanks for your support!