Locked up and down: Incarceration, care and art in a pandemic

Anne-Marie Greene, Deborah Dean, Sarah Bartley, Caoimhe McAvinchey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There has been recent criticism of the lack of care in the UK economy, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated inequality and disadvantage faced by those most vulnerable in society. This article focuses on the importance of care in the practices of Clean Break - an internationally recognised theatre, education and advocacy organisation that puts the stories of women with experience of the criminal justice system centre stage. Drawing centrally on the work of Joan Tronto and Berenice Fisher, we argue that Clean Break’s pandemic activities, i.e. in crisis, have a deep connection to the central place of care within its practices since its inception. We extend the care ethic concept to specifically include art as a form of care. Using textual analysis of the play, Shower Scene, developed in the Clean Break 2 Metres Apart pandemic-response programme, we argue that Clean Break offers an example of what care can and does entail in practice, with positive impacts for its stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1346-1359
JournalGender, Work and Organization
Issue number4
Early online date13 Jan 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jan 2022

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© 2022 The Authors.

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