Video still for A Place Free Of Judgement

A teenage takeover of libraries.

This is where The Shining meets microbes of knowledge and possibility, where stories roll off the handrails of the escalators and words are muttered through the air conditioning systems.

Cameras snake around corners and creep along carpets, voices dislocate and the audiences get caught up. They speak their story with clarity and listen with integrity.

Blast Theory, acclaimed author Tony White and 30 young people aged between 14 – 19, worked together in the West Midlands at Cannock, Southwater and St John’s libraries, to re-imagine libraries, story telling and their place in the world.

It culminated in a 9-hour takeover of the three libraries on the 29th of October 2016. On this night the finished story was delivered to a live and online audience in 3 parts, one after the other from each library. The clocks went back one hour and it was the day before Halloween.

After the event, the story was published as a book.


A Place Free Of Judgement is a project by Blast Theory and Tony White, developed with ASCEL West Midlands and Arts Connect.

It was made in collaboration with young people and librarians in Telford and Wrekin, Worcestershire, and Staffordshire and is created in partnership with young people and librarians in Solihull, Shropshire, Dudley and the University of Worcester.

The project was made with support from Arts Council England Lottery Funding, Arts Connect the Bridge organisation for the West Midlands and the University of Worcester.

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