The gender discrimination prevalent in the criminal justice system and the dismissal of the female experience form some of society’s most neglected narratives. Thankfully, Tate Modern’s latest installation Lock Her Up gifts this unspoken subject with a voice. Based on research into the history of women’s imprisonment, from leading academics from Warwick University, Fuel Theatre has commissioned three ten-minute pieces by three female performers, delving into the various aspects of female incarceration.
Sabrina Mahfouz’s This Is How It Was will address the themes of maternity and motherhood in prison, looking at the ways in which a criminal justice system created for men needs to cater for women. Paula Varjack’s In The Times After The Raids will examine how women can resist institutional control, with her re-imagining of incarceration in the not too distant future. Meanwhile, Rachel Mars’ No Soft Thing will consider women’s experiences of solitary confinement and how this impacts their mental health. Mars describes the piece as ‘an attempt to consider just for a brief period what happens to the shape of your world and the shape of your self when you are locked up in this manner.’ Lock Her Up forms one the thought-provoking events from Warwick University’s Tate Exchange programme: The Production of Truth, Justice and History.