As we prepare to start the new academic year, it is worth reflecting on the beginning of the last one. In 2020 we began the academic year with a whole cohort activity designed to explore visual criminology and inspire the criminological imagination. Students were placed into small (socially distanced) groups, provided with a very short prompt and limited guidance as to how best to tackle the project. The prompts were as follows:
Year 1: Knife Crime
Year 2: Policing Protest (e.g. Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion and so on)
Year 3: Creating Criminals: the CJS during the Covid-19 pandemic
Many of the students had never physically met, yet managed to come together in the midst of a pandemic, negotiate a strategy, carry out the work and produce well designed and thoughtful, criminological posters.
As can be seen from the collage below, everyone involved embraced the challenge and created some remarkable posters. Some of these have been shared previously across social media but this is the first time they have all appeared together in one place.
I am sure everyone will agree our students demonstrated knowledge, understanding, resilience and stamina. We will be running a similar activity for the first week of the academic year 2021-2022, with different prompts to provoke thought and encourage dialogue and team work. Who knows what exciting ideas and posters will be demonstrated this time, but one thing is for sure Criminology students have the opportunity to campaign for social justice becoming real #Changemakers.