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Archive for the ‘Young People’ Category

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.

Meet a Change Creator: Ella

Name: Gabriella Harriet Neal
Age: 19
Campaign: Mental HealthELLA

What made you apply to be a Change Creator?
I have so much passion when it comes to injustice within social and political issues. I wanted to use my creative thinking and express that through working with new technology and creating social change.

What are you up to when you’re not campaign developing with Change Creators?
I have recently left formal education and have been on a path of discovering my own voice since moving to Bristol. I work as a radio presenter for Ujima radio on a youth show. We discuss the current trials and tribulations of our generation. I also made a zine with ten other young creatives on the ‘Human Experience’ which opened up many doors to me expressing my opinion. I am a huge advocate for creating! I work on personal projects of my own artwork (mainly painting, drawing and poetry) and I also just love to learn, which explains my obsession with documentaries and books.

What’s been you favourite part of Change Creators so far?
Every moment of it, each week there is a different challenge which has improved my skills as a person. To work with such inspiring, creative, interesting people and to also be taught and learn from such a huge range of aspirational human beings – I honestly have never felt so motivated to make a change in my whole life. The whole experience is just getting better.

Where do you see yourself at the end of the programme?
I want to continue making a change with social issues, working on campaigns as an activist. My dream is to make my own documentaries about current affairs of corruption! I want to change the world and keep dreaming big!

Twitter  @GabriellaNll

Meet a Change Creator: Chelsea

Name :Chelsea
Age: 19CHELSEA
Campaign: Mental Health

What made you apply to become a Change Creator?
I don’t believe one person can change the world but I think you can always get others to help you make a change.

What are you up to when you’re not campaign developing with Change Creators?
I draw and paint a lot. I try to help others through my art. I also help young people and talk to them about issues they may have.

What aspect of Change Creators are you most excited about?
I am really excited about getting to meet contacts abroad and to find out what they can offer that could help our campaign.

Where do you see yourself at the end of the campaign?
At the end of the programme I’d like to be able to open my own art shop where individuals or groups of people can come and be creative and have someone to talk to if they have issues and where people can be themselves.

Twitter @Chels_cormack

Meet a Change Creator: Charlie

Name: Charlie SkinnerCHARLIE
Age: 21
Campaign: Food Waste

What made you apply to be a Change Creator ?
I have a passion to make a positive change through creativity. I want to learn the skills to develop a career in film and also be able to make a positive impact.

What are you up to when you’re not campaign developing with Change Creators?
In my spare time I’m a filmmaker and I write music. I also spend time campaigning with the National Union of Students Wales on issues that affect students.

What’s been you favourite part of Change Creators so far?
My favourite part of Change Creators so far is getting to work in a team to develop project ideas. I’m passionate about making change and being able to work on developing ideas has been great.

What do you want to achieve through your campaign?
The Food Waste campaign is a very interesting campaign and I’m excited for the fun and innovative ways we are going to help Bristol households reduce their food waste. Hopefully our campaign can help people save money, but will also have a positive impact on the environment.

Twitter @CharlieWooooo

Change Creators: Week Six

On Monday 4th April the Change Creators made their way to Bristol Robotics Laboratory to meet with Ali and Sam from Altitude Tech and present their ideas about the kind of sensor technology they’d like to use in their campaigns. As both groups have moved further in their planning, some of their ideas have recently changed. Monday’s meeting was a chance for the Change Creators to speak to Ali and Sam, who have been sharing their expertise with the groups over the past few weeks, and make some decisions about how they will use sensors as part of their campaigns.

Andreea, Chelsea and Yelena, from the mental health group, proposed three ideas for using sensors to collect data about how alternative therapies might help young people, in comparison to the current, most used methods. They also revealed the name of their mental health campaign, ‘itsok;’ to the rest of the group.

The food waste group, Charlie, Emma, Jay and Mason, want to collect data from homes about how much food waste is created and why. They have some ideas about how they would like to do this but haven’t come to a decision about which method would work best.

After initial feedback from Sam and Ali both groups worked together to develop new ideas. The meeting was a great success as both groups now have a better idea of what’s possible. Over the next few weeks they’ll be conducting more research in order to come to a final decision on what sensor technology they will create to use within their social change campaigns.

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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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