2019- – arts project.
So, to the Koestler Trust competition. If you have read the whole back story to this project, you will have followed the systematic dismantling of the agreed plans we made at the start. Part of this plan was to enter the project into the ‘Arts Project’ category in the Koestler Trust competition.
Our plan was to put together a pack, which would include: DVD, CD, a professionally bound book of the ‘journey’ with lots of pictures, all the graphic design work (DVD @ CD covers, posters, etc.) and, an evaluation of the project (presented in the form of a report with both empirical and anecdotal statistics and information, and lots of graphs, etc.). There were other things we intended to include in the pack. Then the unpleasantness started…
We couldn’t send the DVD, We couldn’t send any pictures (so the ‘journey’ book was shelved). In fact, the management position , at one point, was that we would not be permitted to enter the project into the Koestler competition.
Eventually, this stalemate was broken. Unfortunately, the closing date was in April and we had nothing to enter. It started off that we could not edit any of the 3 visual recordings which were made. Then we could but our intention to sync-up the audio recordings with an edited combination of all 3 visual recordings was foiled by the software (the company who have the contract, once again, did not correctly load the software in full; their regular incompetence is another story).
Fortunately, the guy who co-ordinates this prison’s Koestler entries has a good relationship with them. They agreed to come in to judge the project. This was 4 months after the closing date and just before they would announce the winners in all categories.
We cobbled together a presentation with what we had. I put together a Powerpoint presentation with some of the photographs, we showed one of the visual recordings (with the camcorder sound recordings); we did, however, have the audio recording but they didn’t have time to listen to the whole show for a second time.
So how did we do? Not as well as hoped. The project came 4th (a Bronze Award). I shared a 3rd (Silver) with the guy who did the string arrangements for the score; I got a 4th (in the ‘singer/songwriter’ category with ‘Baby Blue’. My other results in that category were: ‘Alone’, ‘The Guardian’ and ‘The Collector’ all got a ‘highly commended’ certificate and ‘Coming Home’ got a ‘commended certificate’.
We were all really disappointed with the results. what could they have been had we been allowed to submit the polished and professional pack like other prisons would have done. My frustrations at this and the lack of the promised CD led me to have a letter published in Inside Time calling it a ‘disgrace’. It was.
So what were the entries which were placed higher. I’m aware of two of them; one was a cocept album and the other was a stage play performed at an outside theatre. Wasn’t our project both of these and more? I don’t know what else to say…
I’ll let you know about the further adverse tabloid tabloid media reaction to the project in the next blog.
Be happy, be safe.
Graham Coutts, 12th January 2019