Prison Songs

The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law presents a fundraising event;

Prison Songs

Date: Thursday, 24 November 2016
6.30pm to 8.00pm
Venue: The Classic Cinema, 9 Gordon Street, Elsternwick
RSVP: Click here for tickets

We are pleased to announce that our special screening of Prison Songs will be preceded by a talk by Des Rogers. As a young man, Des spent time in a juvenile justice centre and then became the only person to escape from the Alice Springs Prison. He spent over four years in South Australia's maximum security Yatala prison before returning to Alice Springs a rehabilitated man. He is now Director of Operations for Aboriginal Housing Victoria.

Prison Songs is a groundbreaking documentary that gives voice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are impacted by the criminal justice system.

Shot entirely behind bars, this funny yet achingly sad account of eventful lives is delivered via the musical performances of real people imprisoned in a Darwin jail.

Prison Songs

The film features a number of male and female protagonists, each with their own story. Common themes emerge linking the tales – disadvantage, family violence, drugs and alcohol. While the music was written by Shellie Morris and Casey Bennetto – the award-winning composer of Keating: The Musical – the lyrics are the participants’ own words.

The stories portrayed in the film expose the real tragedy behind the lives of the people who are locked away from our view – the underlying poverty, disadvantage and discrimination faced by many Aboriginal communities and the lack of basic services and support systems available to them. The stories convey the inter-generational nature of trauma, grief and poverty. They give a human and vulnerable face to the problems that so many of us ignore – or are simply not aware of.

Prison Songs presents a unique opportunity to shift the conversation about reducing the over-imprisonment of Aboriginal people, through focusing on providing better supports and services that address the underlying reasons why people come into contact with the criminal justice system in the first place.

Join us for this special screening and fundraising event. All proceeds will go to the Castan Centre's policy and public education programs.

Watch the trailer here

Castan Centre