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The Forgotten People

Lady Unchained

Still from The Forgotten People by Lady Unchained and Tracy Kiryango

Watch the premiere of The Forgotten People, a newly commissioned poem and film written and performed by artist and poet Lady Unchained. The Forgotten People highlights racial inequality in the UK prison system, it was written at the Rotterdam Summer Lab in 2019 and perfected during the Black Lives Matter protests in summer 2020. 

Lady Unchained’s mission is to prove that there is life after prison and she initiated Unchained Poetry, a platform for artists with experience of the criminal justice system. Through poetry, she tells her own story and the stories of those with experience of the criminal justice system that are often left untold, because of shame, stigma and negative labels.

The Forgotten People speaks to all those Black women and men who are trapped in the criminal justice system, who’s voices can’t be heard, those who can’t march or speak out about the abuse they face.

– Lady Unchained

In the artist’s words:
“This poem is my personal campaign against the criminal justice system. We need to change the sentencing process and the way Black people are treated within the system from searches, to arrests, to court, to prison. After serving time in prison myself, I found out that being Black was a crime in the UK. There are so many Black women and men serving sentences for crimes that our white counterparts would not get a prison sentence for and, if they did, would receive a less harsh punishment.”

On 28 January 2021, we held a screening of The Forgotten People, followed by an online conversation between the creatives and Q&A about the making of the film:

The Forgotten People was filmed in various locations in Lady Unchained’s local area in South London where there are currently hundreds of Black people imprisoned across three prison sites.

The Forgotten People is commissioned by Artsadmin, with support from BE PART through the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. 

Written and performed by Lady Unchained

Cinematographer and editor: Tracy Kiryango

Date and time

18 January – 18 February 2021

Please note
This is now a past event.