Volunteer Meg Deschamps writes about her experience of attending a workshop led by Sisters Uncut in 2018:
As part of the Echoes of Holloway Prison exhibition events programme, a North London Sisters Uncut representative ran a ‘Reclaiming Holloway’ workshop at Islington Museum, to address issues surrounding women’s prisons, as well as the group’s occupation of Holloway Prison Visitor’s Centre in May 2017.
The workshop explored the purpose of the week-long occupation, which was to protest government cuts to domestic violence survivors’ services and to urge that the site be used as a safe space for women and the local community. By hosting a community festival at the site, activists hoped to show that a community space was not only feasible but also popular in the area.
The session also provided a chance to see plans showing the community’s vision for the site, which offered a fascinating insight into the needs and wants of the local community.
To end the workshop, Sisters Uncut facilitated a wider discussion about what can be done to stop the cycle of women being held in prisons. The varied group of criminal justice and architecture students, community members, and museum staff and volunteers shared stories and ideas about ways in which women could be better supported.
Items from the occupation, including banners hung from the prison, were displayed in the Echoes of Holloway prison exhibition (13 July-8 October 2018).