Mr Richard Hards

Research project: Reasonable men might have acted likewise: an investigation of the Strangeways Prison protest


My practice-based archival research will look at the Strangeways Prison protest of 1990. The subsequent occupation lasted for 25 days, involved 300 men and was widely covered by the media. Prisoners scaled the roof and communicated their mistreatment by the prison system to the media with messages on blackboards. This research project will examine the act of attempting to speak freely in an environment where one does not have the freedom to do so, taking the prison as a place of non-representation where self-determination is extinguished. I will revisit the initial protest, an under-investigated event in the most significant prison riot in British penal history and employ experimental filmmaking to reconsider what happened that day

  • Research degree: Practice-based PhD
  • Title of project: Reasonable men might have acted likewise: an investigation of the Strangeways Prison protest
  • Research supervisor: Professor Elizabeth Price
  • Other research supervisor: Dr Roman Vasseur


I was born in Bermondsey, South East London and grew up in Canning Town, East London. I went to Central Saint Martins to complete a Foundation followed by Goldsmiths College to study for a BA in Fine Art, the University of East London for a PGCE in teaching and the Royal College of Art for a MA in Sculpture.

I work in a multi-disciplinary way and have made videos, sound works, electronically controlled installations and architectural interventions. I create works that can be perceived as reflexive and disrupt their contexts. This includes a public artwork where I re-programmed the street lighting, a re-staging of a scene from the film 'Funny Games' by Michael Haneke featuring an actor from the original and, the removal of gallery windows and ceiling lights used as parts for programmed light and audio works where the sound spills out on to the street.

Areas of research interest

  • Artists moving image
  • Cinema
  • Prison protests
  • Teaching and Learning


  • MA in Sculpture, Royal College of Art, London
  • PGCE in teaching, University of East London
  • BA in Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, University of London

Funding or awards received

  • TECHNE AHRC Doctoral funding