Singer writes whole album based on exact words of Holloway Prison inmates

Prisoners' words live on in musical form

Friday, 21st September 2018 — By Brittany O'Neill

DSC01223 Credit James Harris copy

Hannah Hull and her band. Photo: James Harris

A SINGER has written a whole album based on the exact words of women who were locked up in Holloway Prison.

Hannah Hull and her band Burning Salt released their new EP at the New Unity chapel this month as part of the Echoes of Holloway Prison project.

Ms Hull, 32, used Islington’s archives to run through transcripts of former prisoners for inspiration.

“One woman described her experience as ‘the first place anybody cared was in the worst place I was ever scared of’,” she said.

Another line read: “For all your horror, you were home. And for all your horror, I felt love and beyond.”

Echoes of Holloway Prison project was launched to capture stories of the prison’s history.

Ms Hull said she believed that the closure of Holloway prison caused a lot of “unnecessary pain” as, according to Islington’s archives, many of the prisoners who were transferred elsewhere were separated from fellow inmates.

Holloway Prison site

Also, friends and family suffered further complications due to extra travelling costs.

“My understanding is that it was a fully operational, modern prison and I worry about whether it is right to just separate a prison community that have supported one another,” said Ms Hull.

Every word made up of Burning Salt’s new song Born Again was taken from ex-prisoners transcripts.

“In my music, I attempt to voice the opinions and experiences of women that may never have been heard otherwise,”said Ms Hull.

“I think the media tries to simplify and polarise the debate and what I have tried to do is show that there is a lot of complexity.”

Until its closure in 2016, Holloway was the largest prison for women in Britain.

Listen to the new album Dirt through Spotify or stream
it for free at

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