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Inside the Distance: Sharon Daniel’s i-doc on restorative justice now online

In All posts, News & Events by Jess Linington

INSIDE THE DISTANCE: an interactive web documentary on restorative justice by Sharon Daniel is now online, following its gallery installation last year.

A touchscreen installation version of INSIDE THE DISTANCE premiered in the exhibition CONVICTIONS at STUK Kunstencentrum in September 2013.  i-Docs interviewed artist, Sharon Daniel in November about the solo exhibition, which included four of her documentary works on criminal justice, (“i-Docs in Public Spaces”) In Sharon’s “Case Study” presentation about INSIDE THE DISTANCE at i-Docs 2012 she talked about the project and how it came about:

“In 2010, when Public Secrets was included in the Artifact Festival at STUK, I was invited to give a talk to a small group of researchers and professors at KULeuven’s Institute of Criminology (LinC). In conversation with my audience after the talk I became interested in their work on restorative justice, which presents a productive alternative to the oppressive practices of retributive justice and punishment that I documented and critiqued in my projects Public Secrets and Undoing Time. The researchers from LinC were interested in the intersection of art and advocacy in my work. STUK curator Pieter-Paul Mortier suggested a collaboration between STUK, LinC and myself and within the following year we sought and received funding for a two-year interdisciplinary research collaboration. INSIDE THE DISTANCE is one result of this collaboration.

The piece documents victim/offender mediation in Belgium, where Restorative Justice is institutionalized within the criminal justice system. fIn Mediation, victim and offender face each other across a table. The meetings often begin with a verbal reconstruction – an agreement about what happened – who was hurt and how – and then an attempt to understand why. ForINSIDE THE DISTANCE I staged reenactments of these encounters as described to me in interviews with victims, offenders and mediators, and edited the video to sound from the interviews. It is an extensive work that includes over 100 original edited video clips of varying lengths with audio excerpted from over 40 interviews conducted in Belgium over a two-year period. INSIDE THE DISTANCE explores the subject positions of each participant and the many ways in which those positions are fluid.”

The online version of the project launched at the bi-annual conference of the European Forum for Restorative Justice in Belfast this summer. You can see the project at insidethedistance.net and you can learn more about Sharon’s other i-docs and installations at sharondaniel.net.