Perceived

 

Brief

          This Brief focuses on creating songs that engage with, explore, and strategically highlight aspects of specific social issues of political importance. You have been given several examples of the ways in which songwriting, production, community music practice and public dialogue can be a means to research and then embody important aspects of explorations of issues around criminal justice. This can by done by generating emotional connection with and/or humanising aspects of and/or troubling uncritical understandings of experiences that are not well understood or discussed by the general public, and by creating works that engage with/highlight any prior cultural  conversations on those subjects.

          Execute a piece of professional and creative work that explores restorative dialogue or mediation between the different perspectives around crime represented in the given song examples. This should serve to meet the broader given aim (as tasked to Dr Scott in a professional context) to, “enable dialogue and learning about re/integration [or restoration] in order to improve academic and public understandings of re/integration and to better engage a range of citizens, communities and civil society institutions in, re/integration.” Further to this, your response should adhere to the principles of the partner organisation involved in the brief, who primarily work with those who have received a criminal sentence - representing their experiences, combatting stigma around criminal justice, and advocating for dialogue around change for the better in the criminal justice system.

  

Response

          This brief was challenging to me personally, as I am someone who has experienced crime. As such I think it's likely this brief is not only a little biased to my own personal experiences, but also somewhat rushed as I didn't particularly want to dwell on the subject matter. 

          That being said, I did try to approach the song from as neutral a perspective as possible. I've always admired and aspired to be as open-minded and forgiving as possible, and a few years ago I stumbled across 'The Forgiveness Project' led by Matthew Boger and Tim Zaal and Matthew Boger - a survivor of violent homophobic crime, and the ex-Neo Nazi who had been one of the attackers, who had met years later at The Museum of Tolerance and work together to this day telling their story as they have overcome that history. I used their story and their discussions to base a song off of, as they are a perfect example of restorative dialogue. 

          However, as mentioned it has been difficult to not write this from a highly biased perspective, and as such I've spent less time on it meaning it is still very much a work in progress. Other than issues with potentially biased lyrics, the harmony in the verses falls flat and transitions into and out of the bridge need work - but I'm fond of the chorus melody, so I may continue to work on it in the future.

There's grieving in forgiveness 

salvation in shame 

There's a fear in every shield put up

Relief in casting blame 

 

I struggle with conversation 

It deters the bravest souls 

Closed hearts, closed minds

Closed lips builds walls

 

I don't believe you 

I won't perceive you as

As anything

I can't put a name to

Backing fear

How much can I blame on you?

 

Time's the one companion

To see us through extremes 

It's an ally, it's our greatest battle

Has no love for you or me

 

Making history is relentless, 

But keeping pace will heal all wounds 

If you're tripped or if you slip, 

Standing tall's on you 

 

I don't believe you 

I won't perceive you 

As anything

I can't put a name to

Backing fear

How much should I blame on you? On me?

 

I don't have the words to say

I don't have the time to take 

I don't have the energy 

Is this my responsibility? 

To you? To me? 

 

I don't believe you 

I won't perceive you as

As anything

I can't put a name to

Backing fear

How much can I blame on you? 

On me? I see, 

How much of you do I need to believe? 

How much of me do you really perceive?