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Archive for the ‘Young People’ Category

Tech on the Table is a smash hit

“Everyone is just ready to try something new; they are curious and motived”

Our Tech on the Table summer activities launched on 8th August with another group of excited 10-16 year olds ready to embark on a creative journey. Two days almost didn’t seem enough for a course that included building robots, interacting with At-Bristol’s fully functioning NAO robot and the Minecraft sessions that continue to be a hit. With some help from our friends at Digimakers from the University of Bristol as well as a handful of other friendly volunteers, it was finally tech time.

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Day One

If you walked into KWMC on 8th August you’d have felt the energy of over 25 young people ready to tackle tech like few of them had ever done before! Meeting in the building’s main studio space, KWMC’s Dot Baker explained what was going to be happening over the two days.

Harry Gee, who currently works on robot education products with the help of Bristol Robotics Lab, led the Pi robot building session.  Those who attended learned how to assemble, code and activate the machine, before seeing it in action. Other sessions included gaming and digital design and our great team of young volunteers had the young people fully engaged.

 “They’re keen and they are up for it!” – Harry Gee

“We really enjoyed today. Everyone is just ready to try something new, they are curious and motived” – The Digimakers student team from University of Bristol

Day Two

Our second day started off with a bang as Beth Cotterell from At-Bristol came to visit, bringing her friend Nell, the NAO robot that so many people have been talking about. As well as all of the young people taking part in the Summer Programme, staff and volunteers came along to Beth’s session too: Nell the artificial intellectual brought young and older visitors together to share a memorable experience. It was a s stand-out moment mixed with a feel-good one: we love a good win-win situation!

Building on the excitement of the NAO robot, the other sessions kept up the high pace of the day. The young people, who had begun to form bonds with each other, got stuck in to digital illustration. At  the end of the day it was great to see so many parents staying around to talk to the staff and young people alike about the day, the buzz from the morning undoubtedly still in the air.

Interested in trying coding, robotics or other tech activities?  Our after-school groups start back after the summer holidays on 11th September; visit the Jump Studios page or contact us on 0117 903 0444 or social media to find out more!

Change Creators: XLR Collective Gig Prep

In this week’s session, we reviewed our original pieces that we performed at Bristol Harbour Festival to see what we could make even better. We set up [a] stage in the main space [at KWMC] so every little detail was exposed.

Beth’s “Not About That” had slight adjustments to the second half of the chorus, making it more soulful with a variation with the vocals that the guitar follows. We kept the edgy verses which amplify the message of the song.

Our song “Lady” took a few steps down tuning-wise so Millie could really achieve her range without busting her voice. Down-tuning actually gives a more mysterious vibe as well as keeping the jazz influences in the melodies.

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Courtney smashed “Take Back the Night”. Only a few adjustments were made to make this punch more hard, mostly to do with adding more drums!

We also began working on a new song together around Milo’s hip hop idea. Milo started to demonstrate his rap and an improvised jam blossomed into a song. Beth got in with some backup vocals which help add depth to the song. We now need to confirm the structure to get this one rolling.

We also ran [through] the details of the upcoming At-Bristol gig on Sunday 6th August: we still had to source performers and practice our own sets as we decided to split into more individual performances. The band songs will come [in] useful later on, whether that’s for recording or performing at another gig together – tonight was all about getting us on the same page musically and we’re happy to say that we’re getting there!

Written by Molly Perryman

Follow us at:
www.hackaheckle.org.uk
www.facebook.com/xlrmusicuk/
@xlrmusicuk @change_creators
#xlrcollective
Instagram: @xlrmusicuk

Jump Studios’ Animal Photography Course

“It inspired my son to be a wildlife cameraman!”

Photography and wildlife unite this summer in Jump Studios’ latest course for young people. To kick off the 2017 Summer Programme at Knowle West Media Centre we took a trip to Bristol Zoo Gardens with fifteen 10 to 16 year olds from the local area.  Some young people were introduced to photography for the first time, while others had the chance to enhance their existing skills in creating, editing and exhibiting original digital photography. With majestic and exotic animals as their subjects, the group embarked on a challenging and inspiring two-day journey…

Day 1: Bristol Zoo

Day 1 started off with the young people arriving at Bristol Zoo and having a DSLR camera introduction from photographer George Hieron.  The first lesson of the day was being briefed on how to adjust light settings for the dark caves they would encounter as well as the brighter outside landscapes. Sitting in pairs around a tall tree just inside the zoo’s gates, the group took turns in changing the settings before embarking on their excursion.

Although anyone with a camera phone can capture an image, during the session the young people were able move beyond point-and-shoot picture taking and understand the different capabilities of a DSLR camera (regardless of the level of skill they had with it beforehand.) The group concentrated on composition, focus and lighting to help them produce quality photographs – and having so many different animals and environments to capture on camera helped them test out lots of different skills!

With six hours of exploring and picture taking under their belts, the group finished the first day with plenty of material for the second part of the course which would include exhibiting their work.

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Day 2: Creating the Exhibition

Day 2 kicked off the editing portion of the course. The group discussed how to display the images and the theme they wanted to use. We welcomed Letty from Arnolfini who gave the group advice about how to creatively and strategically produce an exhibition. This part of the day saw the young people incredibly excited, bouncing ideas back and forth about how best to show off their work. In the end they decided to display their images from the least unusual animal to the most unusual.  Although the exhibited pictures are unedited originals, the group also had the chance to learn photo editing skills which can be transferred to a range of different contexts.

The ultimate satisfaction undoubtedly came when the group’s parents came in to see their photographs hanging proudly in the KWMC training room; a feel-good ending to two constructive days leaving one parent to say it was “fantastic! It inspired my son to be a wildlife cameraman!”

Interested in trying photography yourself?  Our after-school groups start back after the summer holidays on 11th September; visit the Jump Studios page or contact us on 0117 903 0444 or social media to find out more!

Change Creators: XLR Collective meet Life Coach Sam Holman

This week the XLR Collective looked beyond the launch of their campaign to challenge gender harassment, Hack a Heckle, to consider their hopes and fears for the future.  Campaign Leader Will explains more…

17th July 2017, KWMC

This week’s session started early, with three of the collective meeting Daniel (Communication Coordinator for the Young People’s programme) for a chance to plan the social media strategy for Hack a Heckle. Our primary sites are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but we will also be utilising Soundcloud, Bandcamp and YouTube throughout the campaign. The four of us agreed on things like tone of voice, post frequency, and different types of content.

We were then joined by Euella from Rife Magazine and we explained about the Collective and what we had done so far during the course of the leadership programme. We spoke about the [Hack a Heckle] campaign in detail and what we wanted to achieve at the end of it. Ella was really interested in what we were saying so she decided to record an interview with us and we hope to partner with her and Rife more during the campaign.

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After the rest of the collective joined us at the Media Centre, we were greeted by Sam Holman, a life coach and careers advisor from Holsam Life Coaching. She spoke to us about letting go of internal fears and visualising success. Sam taught us an alternative to SMART Goals which allowed us to think deeply about what we want to see, hear and feel when the campaign is over. It also made us think about any negative effects, either personal or professional, that success can create and how we can limit these during the campaign itself.

Using a piece of string to represent our life, Sam then made us pinpoint different stages of life and think about what our fears are at present, where they may have originated from and what advice an older version of us would give. This definitely gave an alternative way of looking at our current situations and has given the group some fresh ideas of how to move forward with the campaign and where it might go afterwards.

Written by Will Sissons

Follow us at:
www.facebook.com/xlrmusicuk/
@xlrmusicuk @change_creators
#xlrcollective
Insta: @xlrmusicuk

Check out Holsam life coaching here:
http://www.holsamlifecoaching.com/
https://www.facebook.com/holsamlife

Change Creators: The XLR Collective – Barcelona Delegation

Earlier this week, the young musicians and creatives taking part in this year’s Change Creators programme spent an amazing three days in Barcelona to learn more about gender equality initiatives in the Catalan city and use their creative skills to develop new music in response to their experiences.

The packed programme included meeting gender equality activists, taking to the streets to research people’s opinions about gender stereotypes and sexism, and writing and recording two original songs – which were broadcast on radio less than 24 hours later!

As well as helping the Collective to consider how they could use music to tackle issues relating to gender inequality, the delegation visit gave them plenty of opportunities to test their leadership skills and work together in small teams – two key elements of the seventh month programme.

Read on for a full write-up of their trip and follow them on Twitter at @change_creators. We’ve no doubt you’ll be hearing much more from them as the programme develops…

Day One: Monday 27th March 2017

The 11 members of the Collective – Beth, Bex, Courtney, Jay, Jerome, Maya, Molly, Millie, Milo, Olivia and Will – were at Bristol Airport bright and early for their flight to Barcelona.  Unfortunately, brightness didn’t extend to the weather, as heavy fog over Bristol caused a 2.5 hour delay.

Upon arrival, the group headed straight for their accommodation. But within minutes of embarking on the train into central Barcelona, the two themes of their campaign – music and gender inequality – were brought into sharp relief as a group of male musicians busking in the carriage began blowing kisses at the female passengers and giving them unwanted attention.

Over dinner that evening Programme Coordinator James gave the group a run-down of the packed programme to come.

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Day Two: Tuesday 28th March 2017

The group’s first full day began by meeting Elena Tarifa, a journalist, feminist and social activist who is part of the Barcelona en Comú municipalist platform.  She explained that the city recently elected its first female mayor and detailed some of recent campaigns to promote gender inequality and combat gender violence.  During the question and answer session Elena discussed a range of issues with the Collective, including: perceptions of feminism in Barcelona, ‘macho’ culture, the impact that Spain’s economic crisis has had on men and women, and the perpetuation of gender stereotypes in the media.

The Collective’s next stop was Antoni Gaudi’s breath-taking Sagranda Familia.  The group admired the soaring, twisting towers and took a selfie (or ten!) before heading into the nearby park to chat to tourists and locals.  As well as asking them about the local music scene, the Collective were keen to find out if people thought men and women were treated equally where they lived.  They also photographed billboards and adverts they felt portrayed men and women in stereotypical ways or as sexual objects.

After being split into two teams, the Collective got to work on writing two new songs in response to everything they’ve heard and seen so far – both in Bristol and Barcelona.  With the support of sound engineer Marcel at music studio BCN Tracks, the Collective recorded two original pieces. The first team, led by Will, created the ‘t(r)opical hip hop‘ tune ‘Philosophy’, with vocals by Bex, rap by Jay, drums and soundscapes by Jerome and Olivia, guitar by Molly and Will on bass. While reflecting on the same experiences, the other team chose a different sound, creating the acoustic ‘Let Me Be’, featuring vocals and harmonies by Beth, Courtney and Millie and guitar by Milo. Will lent his support on bass, while producer and team leader Maya oversaw the writing and rehearsal process.

To round off the day, the Collective visited an open mic night.  After watching some of the other acts – including a comedian whose jokes made the group even more certain that gender equality should be the priority issue for their campaign – Millie took to the stage and performed two numbers with the house band!

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Day Three: Wednesday 29th March 2017

Another beautiful morning and another busy day!  The Collective made their way to The Basement to make use of their open-plan space for their morning workshops.  KWMC’s Communications Officer Rachel kicked off the session and supported the group to reflect on their mission and start drafting the framework of a strategy to communicate it.  Following up on their last session, Rachel invited the two teams to quiz each other about their values, inspirations and songs in preparation for their first live radio interview later in the day.

Videographer and former Change Creator Jay Carter-Coles then helped the group come up with ideas for music videos to accompany their songs.  After a detour to see the magnificent Arc de’Triomf, the group recorded some footage for their films in the winding alleys of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter.

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The last stop on their tour of Barcelona was Barcelona City FM to meet DJs Jim Kent and T-Bird.  Both teams were interviewed live on air, sharing the story of the programme so far and telling listeners of the English-speaking show what inspired them to create their songs.  Rounding off the visit to the station was a workshop about gender and the media with DJ Michelle Hardiman.  Michelle shared some hard-hitting statistics that highlighted the disparity between the number of men and women working in a range of roles in the radio, music and film industries.  She also shared some ideas of what could be done to change things.

Over dinner that evening the group had the opportunity to reflect on what they’d learned and the direction they might want their social action project to take when they return.

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KWMC would like to thank all of the organisations that took time to meet with the XLR Collective and share their experiences and expertise. Watch this space to see what’s next for the group!

Change Creators: The XLR Collective – Music is Power

This week the Change Creators: XLR Collective’s session was entitled #musicispower.

The session was all about the power that music has to influence, inform and spark change on a personal, national and international level. This session was less about the classic activism songs like Sam Cooke, “A Change Is Gonna Come” or Edwin Star “War” and more based around independent artists who are striving to make a difference within their local communities.

The session began with a series of music videos covering a wide range of topics from Benin City (Club closures), Soundsci (Black Lives Matter), The “Fracking Song” – “My Water Is On Fire”, and also a poignant song from London based MC, promoter and youth worker Shay D entitled “Set Her Free” addressing domestic abuse (below):

The XLR Collective discussed songs and musical experiences that had created a long lasting impression on them. They introduced each other to new music, discussed the impact of the songs and events and reflected on how music has the power to change moods, attitudes and communities. A key question arose from the discussions:

“how can we use this information to create better music events in the future?”

Further exploring the topic with music and events that had an adverse impact, and looking into the reasons why they were ineffective, the session ended with some core values to instil when creating events, and some core aims as a collective in order to create a long lasting impact through their event(s) later in the year.

Keep in touch with the XLR Collective:
www.facebook.com/xlrfest/
@change_creators @xlrfest
#xlrcollective

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Retro tech meets virtual reality

 This half term the futuristic world of virtual reality will collide with the nostalgic realm of console gaming as the South Bristol Gaming & Anime Expo returns for its second year.

On Saturday 22 and 23 October Knowle West Media Centre will host a celebration of gaming, digital media and art which will bring together retro games and new technology.

  • Do you grab your headset and enter a new digital world when you game?
  • Do you remember the days of consoles and cartridges, and Sonic vs Mario?
  • Or do you prefer your games to have boards and pieces, with no tech in sight?!

The South Bristol Gaming & Anime Expo is suitable for all ages and will include a retro gaming area (featuring consoles including SEGA Megadrive and Nintendo64), a board game station, cardboard arcade, and an opportunity to try new virtual reality technologies.

There will also be a gallery exhibition of emerging artists, screenings of anime films, workshops exploring comic production, and a chance to have your photo taken in a pop-up studio.

The event runs from 10am-5pm on 22 and 23 October. Young people aged 19 and under go free and adult tickets cost £5 in advance.  Tickets can be booked online at southbristolgamingexpo2016.eventbrite.co.uk and under 11s must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information contact Mena Fombo, Young People’s Programme Manager, on 0117 903 0444 or e-mail expo@kwmc.org.uk

A food project that’s close to home

Yasmin Thomas has just finished as a Junior Digital Producer at Knowle West Media Centre. Here she looks back at her time working on Who Decides What’s in My Fridge

“I have lived in Knowle West since the age of four, but I didn’t know that my first role in the media and arts sector would flourish here. I was one of eight Junior Digital Producers (JDP) recently working at Knowle West Media Centre on the Who Decides What’s in my Fridge? project. Being a JDP was a paid position for six months up until the end of April 2016. Our role was to collect data from the community to explore the barriers that communities face accessing food locally.

“From October 2015 we received a series of intense training sessions to provide us with the skills we would need to work on the project, including workshops on understanding key themes of data ethics and data visualisations. We also developed our multi-media skills such as photography, filming and coding.

“Our first step in terms of data collection was to research the priorities of local residents when they shop. We put together a simple activity using mason jars labelled as ‘cost’, ‘nutrition’, ‘taste’ and ‘appearance’ for participants to choose from. We worked hard to make the data collection process fun and also ensured that community participants had a say in guiding the project.

“Over time we progressed our data collection methods into building an interactive survey in the form of a life-size fridge filled with models of food and questions. This successfully aroused curiosity in the community to get involved in the project  The Fridge was taken on “tour” around Knowle West to collect the data. We went to many of the different clubs and community groups to try and reach a full cross-section of the community. You can see a video that one of my fellow Junior Digital Producers made about the ‘Fridge Tour’ here.

“After we had collected the survey data we analysed the results and visualised them as part of a new website that we created for people to explore what we have found.

“We launched the website and displayed the data collected from the Fridge by holding a pop-up interactive exhibition in an unused shop. It used to be a fruit and veg shop on Filwood Broadway but it closed down in recent years, along with many of the other nearby shops. We promoted the exhibition by inviting other community organisations and local growers to take part, organising an ‘Eat and Greet Food Marketfor a day. We had a successful turn-out and had an additional 40 participants take part in the Fridge survey on the day.

“What I have learnt is that community participation is successful when part of the project’s aim is to improve quality of living, whatever that might be. Knowle West is in the process of a regeneration plan, but the 20 year long wait is vastly aggravating the locals, which I found out during my experience of community engagement. The community has campaigned for a supermarket in Knowle West for more than 20 years, and are fed up of community consultations and viability studies that ultimately come to nothing.  

“With that in mind we started to look at alternatives to supermarkets that could improve food accessibility, for example a local food market. We don’t have a supermarket but we do have lots of nearby green space for growers and events!

“The experience of this project has developed my understanding of the community that I live in and how the locals do their utmost to keep it alive, whether through clubs or classes. While my time as a Junior Digital Producer has now come to an end, after living in Knowle West for 22 years I’m now playing the role as an activist for this project. It is a project that’s close to home  – literally! – and I’m going to stay involved.”

To find out more about the work that the Junior Digital Producers did on the project take a look at the website they built, with a live survey and interactive data visualisations at www.KWfood.org

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Change Creators in Barcelona

The Change Creators spent some time in Barcelona from 10th – 13th April, with two full days of workshops in the Barcelona Fab Lab, which is part of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

On Monday the group received a talk from Guillem Camporodon on the development of computers. He took the Change Creators through their history and how the demand for them has increased so rapidly, sharing a 1958 quote from Thomas John Watson: “I think there is a world market for about five computers”. Guillem also explained the development of 3D printers and how they are being used all around the world. The group had a full tour of the building and an up close and personal look at 3D printers.

The Change Creators then spoke to Mara Balestrini, Director of Research for Ideas for Change, who has been collaborating with KWMC to develop The Bristol Approach to Citizen Sensing (which the Change Creators are part of). Mara spoke to the group about connecting people with sensor technology, the challenges involved and what to think about when encouraging citizens to use sensors. She gave examples of projects that had failed and flourished, giving a detailed explanation as to why.

The afternoon was spent exploring Arduinos with Guillem Camporodon and he also introduced the Change Creators to the ‘smart citizen’ kits. In pairs the group set up the kits around the Fab Lab, both inside and outside, ready to collect data for them to visualise the next day.

The next morning the group sat down with Guillem and Mara to present their ideas for using sensor technology within their campaigns: reducing food waste and diversifying mental health support services for young people. Mara and Guillem challenged some of the ideas, encouraging the Change Creators to reflect further, and offered their expertise, gained through similar projects and experience.

In the afternoon the group were ready to input the data, collected the previous night, into Adobe Illustrator and visualise it using a laser cutter. They decided what they wanted to visualise, with Chelsea and Yelena focusing on comparing the CO2 levels in Santiago and Barcelona. Through this exercise, the Change Creators got a first-hand experience of how sensors can enable you to be creative with the data they gather.

The two days were successful in helping the Change Creators understand sensors and data visualisation:

“I didn’t know it could be so creative” – Chelsea
“I’ve learned so much in a great, fun engaging way”- Charlie
“I’ve learned so much, I’ve got so many ideas about what I can do for my project” – Yelena
“It’s been really hands-on. We’ve been talking about these concepts for so long and seeing them in action has been really valuable” – Andrea

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Meet a Change Creator: Mason

Name: Mason Scott Robinson
Age:25
Campaign: Food Waste

change creators_everyone7What made you apply to be a Change Creator? I applied to the change creator programme to build my leadership skills. I felt as though I had begun to identify a need to challenge myself in order to progress.

What are you up to when you’re not campaign developing with Change Creators? I work as a volunteer coordinator in the contemporary art gallery Arnolfini. I have a background in theatre and digital art. My main passion is writing for screen and I am currently working towards applying for a masters in screenplay writing/directing.

What aspect of Change Creators are you most excited about? The thing that excites me most about the programme is the support in developing my leadership skills, working both with a large group as well as improving my ability to effectively manage my own time and to work on self lead projects.

Where do you see yourself at the end of the programme? By the end of the programme I would like to be much more effective at working autonomously as well as feeling more confident in my ability to complete my own projects, leading a team of people from conceptions through to execution.

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
Bristol
BS4 1NL
+44 (0) 117 903 0444
enquiries@kwmc.org.uk

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