A creative look behind closed doors

Students from Edinburgh Napier University with their lecturers outside Polmont YOI
Students from Edinburgh Napier University with their lecturers outside Polmont YOI

A creative project between Polmont YOI, Edinburgh Napier University and Fife College is giving an insight into what life is like within Scotland’s national facility for young male offenders.

Six learners within the establishment’s learning centre – which is led and developed by Fife College - work with students from Edinburgh Napier to produce a film and series of photographs that reflect of their time within the establishment so far.

Through a series of sessions with BA (Hons) Photography and BA (Hons) Television students, the learners have spent time developing a range of photographic and film-making techniques and have collated their efforts into a short film and photography exhibition.

The results recently went on display at Polmont YOI at a celebration event last Thursday which gave learners and their families the chance to celebrate their achievements.

The film features several learners talking about adjusting to life in prison and offers an introduction on the learning opportunities within the establishment. Photographs ranged from poignant images of rosary beads, CDs and other items of importance.

Lindsay Morgan, placement co-ordinator within Edinburgh Napier’s School of Arts and Creative Industries said: “Edinburgh Napier already has a very successful partnership with the Scottish Prison Service and Fife College through the Prison Literacy Placement Programme. It has been very rewarding to build on this link and involve students from our television and photography courses in a project which has been incredibly rewarding for all participants.

“Our goal was always to collaboratively create tangible results and the final images and film produced will have a real impact and purpose. Both the student teachers and young learners at Polmont should feel very proud of what they have achieved.”

Jade Cofor, a third year photography student said: “Volunteering was an invaluable experience that not only gave me the opportunity to challenge my own ability to introduce and teach the basic skills of photography to others, but gave the young learners a creative outlet to give the learners the opportunity to learn something new.”