I Live Hull

Me and My NanaIn partnership with HMP Hull this project explores Hull and Hullness through storytelling and memory sharing.

“As Librarian at HMP Hull I work with prisoners in an informal but secure environment. The support of Untold Hull presented me with the opportunity to start I Live Hull, a project that combined creative writing, drawing, crafting & creating. Each participating prisoner was encouraged to connect with Hull, be it through the recollection of a memory from childhood or the creation of a tale (no matter how tall). The industry of working on these vignettes of Hull temporarily removed each man from the walls, the bars, the smells and placed him in reach of the open sky, the gentle breeze and the rippling water. If this seems somewhat far-fetched (and a tad contrived) then maybe it is, however there is a serious point. Consecutive studies on reducing reoffending have demonstrated the positive impact of creative projects on desistance (a process of self-learning through which the individual chooses to desist from criminal acts). Creativity encourages a reconnection with the self; with who we are, where we’re from and who we could be. As children, if we receive praise we are proud: we feel good about ourselves and others, we start to empathise and understand what it is to feel another’s joy or pain or loss. Working with adults is no different and there are projects like I Live Hull that run up and down the breadth of the country in libraries making a difference in communities, sometimes small and sometimes large but does it matter? A difference is still a difference.
Welcome to I Live Hull.”

-Rebecca Binnington, ‘I Live Hull’ Project Manager

You can view images from the exhibition and listen to the prisoner’s stories, as read by local actors, below.

All images by Facet Photography