The Hidden Side of Violence

  • Serial
Artwork created with a colour photographic print of a female figure in a bright red dress, set against a purple and blue draped silk background. She is lying horizontal in the frame, caught as if in mid fall, hair and dress blown upwards, toes and fingers outstretched. Her face is obscured by her hair. Her body is surrounded by groups of dress pins, laid on top of the photographic print. The pins are arranged as if they are a flight of arrows directed at her body. One group attacks her back from underneath, another her feet and ankles from above and below. A final group descend from above towards her billowing skirt.
Untitled (Violence Study I). © Jessa Fairbrother for Wellcome Collection.

We know violence when we see it. Or do we? Criminologist and writer Laura Bui explores the hidden sides of violence. From our brains to our genes, our early lives, to our institutions, she reveals the risk factors that can make all the difference, and finally considers whether we can prevent violence.

About the contributors

Laura Bui


Laura Bui teaches and researches crime and violence at the University of Manchester. Her research on these topics has appeared in academic journals and also in places like the literary anthology ‘Test Signal’, where she explored grief and the paranormal; the non-fiction journal ‘Tolka’, where she questioned what a (criminal) psychopath is really for; and BBC Radio 4, where she raised the questions we should really be asking about true crime.

Photographic, black and white, head and shoulders portrait of Jessa Fairbrother.

Jessa Fairbrother


Jessa Fairbrother is a visual artist using photography, performance and stitch. Her long-term investigations revolve around subjects of yearning and the porous body. Her work is held in numerous private and public collections worldwide, including Tate Britain, the V&A, the Yale Center for British Art and the Museum of Fine Art, Houston. Her work is represented by the Photographers’ Gallery, London and AnzenbergerGallery, Vienna. She is also a QEST (Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust) scholar.