Carlotta Allum tells her story of being a drugs mule and how it spurred on her passion for drug policy and social reform.
Carlotta Allum is a social entrepreneur and founding director of the arts charity Stretch, who have been delivering projects to disadvantaged groups since 2003.
“Working with prison art has helped me to come to terms with my own experience. I had found it hard to align my new life with my time in prison, but it obviously drives me. It has been said that facilitating these art projects with groups of offenders is my art practice, each self contained project a piece of art – I certainly put my heart and soul into my work and feel driven and compelled to work with the community I was once part of. The prison community has a story to tell, often heartbreaking, compelling, extraordinary or scary.
In 1996 I was convicted of a serious drug trafficking offence and spent 8 months in prison in the US. Two weeks into my sentence the routine medical showed me to be pregnant with my first child. This experience has lead to lifelong interest in the welfare of prisoners. Add into that mix a life lived with drug addicts, raising three girls and running my business I feel I have a lot I want to say. I am exploring ways of telling my story. I feel compelled to do it, I believe in the transformative power of telling your story. I do bit of writing, a bit of painting, story telling and a bit of speaking. I am passionate about issues that mean a lot to me.”
For more information on Stretch visit their website