Solitary Confinement: A Conversation

A chance to listen to researchers from our project network discuss the experience of imprisonment and solitary confinement from different perspectives.

In June 2019 the Pathologies of Solitude project at Queen Mary University of London co-organised a symposium on ‘Solitude and Modernity’ with the Diseases of Modern Life project at Oxford. The final panel discussion at this event was on ‘Enforced Solitude’. The panellists were Gwen Adshead and Shokoufeh Sakhi, and the discussion was chaired by Barbara Taylor.

Gwen Adshead is a consultant forensic psychotherapist who previously worked at Broadmoor Hospital and is currently based at the West London NHS Trust and the Central North West London NHS Trust. She has authored and co-edited many papers and books, including A Short Book About Evil (2015).

Shokoufeh Sakhi is a researcher based in Canada who, in the 1980s, spent eight years as a political prisoner in Iran. Iran’s prisons were notorious for their brutality, including their use of particularly cruel forms of solitary confinement. Shokoufeh Sakhi spent many months in solitary confinement, an experience that she discusses in the 2002 film The Tree That Remembers, made by Iranian filmmaker Masoud Raouf to document Iranian political exiles in Canada and their experiences of imprisonment in 1980s Iran.

The conversation between Shokoufeh Sakhi and Gwen Adshead can be heard here.

The film The Tree That Remembers can be viewed here.