Ursula Castillo

REstARTISTS’ Common Discussion

On the last day of the REstART Festival, on 5 December 2020, we had a virtual talk with five of the artists that contributed to this event. This was the event closing the Festival week.

The one hour talk will be about the artists’ journey towards restorative justice. How was their first encounter with restorative justice? What grabbed their interest in these restorative stories? What were the challenges they faced for transforming restorative justice stories in artworks? Can arts be integrated in restorative justice practices? What are their suggestions for the restorative justice community to make these stories heard?

After this talk, the team of the European Forum for Restorative Justice closed the REstART Festival with some final reflections and thoughts. Both recordings are available below.

The invited artists who took part in this joint discussion are:

Clair Aldington

Clair Aldington (UK) is a creative restorative justice practitioner, currently finalizing her doctoral research on the role of co-creation and gift making within restorative justice processes, for example using textile and/or recycled materials with offenders producing their artworks as gifts for their victims.

Alan Gilsensan

Alan Gilsenan (Ireland) is a writer, filmmaker and theatre director, famous within the restorative justice community for the film “The meeting”, portraying the victim-offender encounter between Ailbhe Griffith and the man who, nine years earlier, subjected her to a horrific sexual assault.

Sharon Daniel

Sharon Daniel (USA) is a professor, activist, and artist using the digital media to give a voice to inmates and their stories of injustice. Within the restorative justice community, she is well known for “Inside the distance”, a multimedia project documenting victim/offender mediation practices in Belgium.

Maria San Miguel

Maria San Miguel (Spain) is an actress, playwright and theater director focusing on different societal issues in her artworks. Maria is well known for the trilogy on the armed conflict in the Basque country, including “La mirada de l’otro” on the encounters between ETA prisoners and victims.


Geoff Power (Ireland) is a documentary producer and, since 13 years, a creative writing teacher at the Midlands Prison. To flip the one-side narrative emerging in prison, he wrote “Stronger”, a fictionalised account of a woman who is raped by a pupil and who strives to regain control of her life.

This virtual talk between these artists will be facilitated by our Board member Brunilda Pali (Belgium), who wrote and co-authored different publications on the use of arts for social change, particularly for restorative justice, and assisted different artists in the making of their restorative-oriented artworks (e.g. “Inside the distance”, “The voice of nature – The trial”).

Below, the closing remarks for the REstART Festival by the EFRJ team: