We are an arts and community organisation working within criminal justice, to spark fresh conversations and insights so that our responses to crime, harm and conflict might build or rebuild connections, trust and belonging rather than further divisions.
Established in 2013, we run creative projects in prison and in the wider community with people who have committed crimes, people who have been victims of crime, those who have family experience of crime and justice processes and those who work in this area.
Underpinning all the above, we are building a messy creative community made up of many of the diverse people involved. And we are learning a lot together in the process!
By sharing our work and creative processes we aim to spark thinking around:
- How people’s lives are affected by crime, punishment, and the criminal justice system
- How we might imagine and live out the way we want the world to be
By being part of arts-based community work, those involved often form new connections with different people. In the words of some of the people involved:
“Everyone coming together, it’s definitely an eye-opener. Can see everyone is getting a good release from writing and learning about music in general which helps make a stronger community. We all sort of relate to each other through that. It’s all good. It’s definitely something I can take outwith this environment; take it back into… everyday society. If it can be done between 4 walls, it can be done in the wider world.” -(prison-based participant)
“When I first started to come to Vox, I definitely felt like an outsider. But I was feeling that way everywhere I was going. You know I would be walking along the street and thinking people were looking at me and thinking ‘what’s he doing out of prison?’ as if I had a neon sign above me? I felt out of place. And I felt like everybody that looked at me must have known that he doesn’t belong in society. Totally alien, you know, so much had changed over the years….
But I would say, you know, weeks and months sort of went on and you get to know the individuals and everything that’s going on. The creative side was, was brilliant. And then it just sort of materialised one day that I thought, I’m actually sort of part of this. I’m no longer the outsider who’s a guest invited in. I’m actually part of this. And I feel today that I’m as much a member of this as anybody else. And that’s only down to everybody that’s here, making me believe that. And that’s got to be a good thing.” (Iain, Unbound community member)
“In Unbound I was spending time with people who are involved in the criminal justice system, but the dynamic was totally different. I wasn’t there to manage risk I was just there to see people for who they are. As a criminal justice social worker, that was refreshing.
So, I think for me what I’ve taken from Vox Liminis is to give myself a wee shake and get back to first principles… You can become a bit of a machine to be honest with you – you can go into automatic pilot a bit too easily. In my experience in Unbound I’ve woke up a little bit.” (Gordon, Unbound Community Member)
We seek to live out how we want the world to be by trying to live out these values in action:
- Prioritising relationships
- Making together
- Sharing power
- Disagreeing well
- Following the energy
Our Outcomes: As we together live out how we want the world to be, life feels better. How?
- More connected
- More creative
- Greater sense of purpose
- More enjoyable
- More just and fair
- More hopeful
Welcome to the ‘in-between’…
* Since you asked…
‘Vox Liminis’ – it’s Latin. It means ‘voice from the threshold’. The threshold isn’t ‘in’ or ‘out’; it’s a powerful in-between space, where voices can speak to each other, and be heard, despite their differences.