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Co-Creation with WECIL

Here at KWMC we pride ourselves on the co-creation of work with others. Whether it’s organisations, community activists or the individual, we use digital media and technology to empower people to make positive change.

Over the last year, the Our Digital City team have been working across the city to build new partnerships with various organisations. One of these organisations is WECIL (West of England Centre for Inclusive Living), a local disability advice and information service run by and for people with disabilities. After a visit to Knowle West Media Centre, WECIL contacted us to discuss an idea formed by one of their peer support members, Nathan.

One of Nathan’s designs.

As a former designer, Nathan is highly skilled in digital 3D art and design. His vision was to create an informal and creative workshop for people with disabilities to come and use laptops, digital drawing pads and easy to use, open source software to create 3D and digital art. People would be given the freedom to experiment and create with the kind of software traditionally only afforded to industry level game designers, artists and graphic designers.

After some productive meetings and with Nathan’s advice on software and hardware, the Our Digital City team took several laptops and digital drawing kits to the Creative Challenge sessions run by WECIL.

Every participant got the chance to try out the kit and the software and enjoyed the new and interactive way of creating art.

Below are some examples of the creative work by some the WECIL participants.

 

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This is another one of our ongoing workshops that, we hope, will build confidence in using technology and inspire a new and creative approach for people who might not otherwise have access to digital creative processes. But at the heart of this project is co-creation. Nathan had a great idea and we were keen to help make it happen.

 

 

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Virtual Reality with Bristol Community Links South (Knowle West)

Building new and strengthening existing relationships within communities is one of the key aspects of what we do under the Our Digital City banner.

Bristol Community Links South (located here in Knowle West) is one of the local services with whom we have spent time getting to know better over recent months. Many of their service users are elderly, living with dementia, learning difficulties or visual and physical impairments.

Working alongside the management staff at Bristol Community Links the team came up with the idea to try and offer the service users something that would introduce them to new technologies and experiences for which disabilities hold no barriers… Virtual Reality.

Using the HTC Vive VR Headset, we took several VR experiences down to the centre and ran a taster session. The service users had never tried VR before, so this was completely new to them all.

Doreen visits Indonesia thanks to Virtual Reality

This is Doreen (left). She is a wheelchair user whose condition prevents her from air travel. We loaded up a travel experience that took Doreen all the way to Indonesia. There, she experienced running across white sands, heading out on a speed boat and diving into the clear blue sea and swimming in the reef with exotic sea life.

“I’ve never been on an aeroplane in my life and I’ve always wanted to fly, to see places around the world. This experience was unbelievable. I felt like I was actually there, swimming in the sea with those beautiful fish… Thank you for giving me this experience. It was wonderful...
Keep up the good work you are all doing.”

The VR technology showcases how technology can be used to tackle the potential mental health issues that can be caused by long term limited mobility. At a time when the pace of technology is ever changing, it also serves well to break down the barriers of digital isolation that many elderly people face today.

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With Virtual Reality, we can give the service users of Bristol Community Links South an opportunity to try something new and experience an adventure they might not otherwise get to live.

Looking Back on Half Term

As we approach the end of the year, the Jump Studios team have been reflecting on October Half Term. We had an exciting few days, as our creative courses welcomed new young people for the first time and saw young people already connected to KWMC come back for more.

Aquarium Photography Course (23/10/17 & 24/10/17)

Following on from our sold-out summer Animal Photography Course we took a trip to Bristol Aquarium to support young people to further develop their photography skills by capturing the beauty of ocean life. Learning to shoot photos in low light, the group had the opportunity to practice their techniques while learning about a variety of different sea creatures. From the well-known blowfish to the more obscure unicorn fish, the day broadened everyone’s knowledge of both photography and marine life – the staff as well as the young people!

The following day, young people met at KWMC to create stop motion animations inspired by the fish and marine life they saw at the Aquarium.

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Skateboard Design Course (25/10/17 – 26/10/17)

Our second Half Term course offered 16-25 year olds the chance to create designs for their own skate decks and learn how to laser cut the designs into the wood. The course used the facilities at our digital manufacturing space KWMC: The Factory and we were pleased to see a host of new faces. At the end of the course the young people could not only take away their newly-etched skateboards, but new contacts with other young people who share their interests.

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Our Half Term courses are designed to provide fun opportunities for young people to be creative and develop new skills – and we’re looking forward to our next holiday programme, taking place during the school break in February 2018 school break. Keep an eye out for more details and get in touch with the Jump Studios team if you’re interested in our term time activities.

Fun and Games at the Gaming & Anime Expo

On Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th November Knowle West Media Centre opened its doors once again for the annual South Bristol Gaming & Anime Expo. Attracting people from all over the city and beyond, the event pulled out all the stops, satisfying every gaming enthusiast’s taste for retro and modern gaming!

The two day Expo included a breadth of games that ranged from classics such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Crash Bandicoot to current favourites like the new Star Wars, which was played on a big screen in our main studio space. From the time the doors opened to the time they closed, there we people of all ages expressing themselves through play.

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One of the best reflections of our aim for the event was seen in the multi-player games that allowed families, friends and strangers alike to game together, bringing people closer and introducing others for the first time. To look out into the sea of people and see parents with their children and children with KWMC staff members was a heartwarming moment.

The Expo also hosted a series of workshops for illustrators and aspiring illustrators where anyone who took part could create their own manga drawings. Our Truth Room was taken over by the Space Data role-play game created by Eight: the game took teams of people onboard a crashing spaceship and challenged them to decipher data in a series of tasks in order to find a new planet to live on.

With one of the young people saying “this is awesome, it’s even better than I expected”, we’re excited to say that the 2017 Expo was a massive success. Here’s to next year!

Don’t worry if you missed this event: JUMP Studios runs a range of activities during term time. Click here for more details.

Change Creators: XLR Collective Course Reflection

After an amazing performance at their Campaign Celebration, the XLR Collective came back together last night to reflect on their closing event and on the course as a whole. It’s been an exciting seven month journey with this team and now that we have reached the end its been great to see the progress all of them have made.

We started off the night by having a round table discussion about the Campaign Celebration, we discussed what went well and what things they would have changed. Everyone was in agreement that musically the night went well, it was their best performance to date. The presentation went well also, some of the team members thought they could have been more prepared but felt the night went to plan regardless.

Following the round table discussion, I took the collective one-by-one into the music studio and interviewed them about their experience at the Campaign Celebration and the operations and logistics leading up to it. They all gave clear and concise answers about their contribution, who they worked with and their thoughts on its success.

We couldn’t be anymore proud of this cohort of the XLR Collective, we’re so excited to see how they continue to grow and develop into the fullness of their skills and talents.

Follow the XLR Collective at:

www.hackaheckle.org.uk
www.facebook.com/xlrmusicuk/
@xlrmusicuk @change_creators
#xlrcollective
Insta: @xlrmusicuk

Change Creators: XLR Collective Graduation!

The moment we’ve all known was coming has finally come! Last night the XLR Collective had their Campaign Celebration here at the Knowle West Media Centre. It was a great night for the group to come together with friends, family and supporters to showcase the work they had done over the past seven weeks.

The night started off with an ice-breaker exercise from program director, Mena Fombo which had the audience “practice” their applauding and essentially facilitate and encouraging atmosphere in the room. Up next were Will and Olivia who introduced the campaign and the the mission behind it. They showed the official campaign video that they recorded during their launch at Bristol Harbour Festival. Will also shared a personal story that connected him to the cause of gender-based harassment that allowed people to connect even more with their cause. Following that the group played the first track of their EP ‘Lady’ which is also their debut single.

For the remaining of the night the group took turns speaking in pairs reporting on different aspects of the campaign and playing another track of music from their project in-between. It was great to see how polished and professional they were at presenting and playing music. The group have undoubtedly grown considerably in their confidence and practical performing skills. After seven months of ups and down, positives and challenges, the collective have finally come through the finish line, completing the programme with their heads held high. We genuinely could’t be anymore proud of them. Such a great night of hard work finally being revealed.

Change Creators: XLR Collective Graduation Rehearsal

For this week, we had to make sure that we were all up to speed and on the same page while we planned for the launch event scheduled for Monday the 25th of September. Everything from the (relatively) minor details to what would make up fundamental sections of the event needed to be discussed and locked in, so that we didn’t have to leave anything down to chance and ensure that the event will be successful on as many fronts as possible.

We decided to mix together all of the different elements of our campaign with a varied running order, with talk-based sections punctuated by live performances of songs. One of the key parts that needed to be organised was the talk-based segments; every team member had a subject matter relating to the campaign that they had to discuss in a brief but comprehensive fashion using the data and analytics that the group had previously gathered. As well as this we had to decide on a multitude of intriguing options, such as how to set up the chairs and tables, and what equipment was needed for the launch- hopefully it will all come together relatively flawlessly a week from now!

Written by Jerome Bishop

If you would like to attend Hack a Heckle’s graduation you can sign up here!

Follow us at:

www.hackaheckle.org.uk
www.facebook.com/xlrmusicuk/
@xlrmusicuk @change_creators
#xlrcollective
Insta: @xlrmusicuk

This Week at JUMP Studios (Autumn Programmes)

With Summer soon coming to a close we are gearing up for a great season of youth programmes at KWMC. Starting next week we’ll be opening our doors once again to another collection of creative young people ready to grow in a variety of different media forms.

XLR Sessions. Tuesdays from 5-7pm. 10-19 year olds. Open Access.

12/9: For the opening session, young people will learn to artistically write lyrics and create music to accompany them. More info here.

Creative Hub. Wednesdays from 5-7pm. 10-19 year olds. Open Access. 

13/9: Session will include: Stick Bots, Wack On tablets, Photoshop skill development, Mini Keyboards. More info here.

Jump Into Manga. Wednesdays from 5-7pm. 10-19 year olds. Seasonal Course.

13/9: The beginning of our Jump Into Manga course will start with an introduction to the programme that will outline learning different storytelling techniques and launching their own comic at the Gaming and Anime Expo in November. More info here.

Change Creators: XLR Collective Start to Record!

Hack A Heckle hit up the studio in this week’s session. We came together at DBS to get the instrument tracks down for 5 original songs.

We started with re-recording Hide, our main single. This song entered the world from our previous studio session in Barcelona, back in March. With a border-line melancholic tone, Hide reflects the issues around street harassment and how it makes people feel. We have altered the ending slightly to work better with the vocals.

The next song we got down was Take Back The Night with Courtney leading the vocals. A more bouncy song with elements of rock and dub style beats. If you like Paramore, then you’ll like this song as Courtney rocks it up!

We then moved onto Millie’s song, Lady. A very jazzy and bluesy style song with a melodic vocal line. Millie’s vocals are sure to blow you away on this one.

Beth’s song Not About That, like Courtney’s, covers a few different styles of music. We start off with an Artic Monkey vibe verse which leads to a disco-like chorus followed by a rockier second half of the chorus. We also hear a soca rhythm breakdown before finishing where we started. Beth’s lyrics keeps the theme of our campaign well with the catchy vocals. This track has it all going on!

The very last part of the session we had a jam with Milo’s hip-hop track. Although it’s a rough version at the moment, we managed to capture different elements of the song so we can hopefully mould it into a full track. Milo’s rap will punch through nicely when we finally nail this one.

At the end of the session, we all packed down and ran over some things for the following session as we are edging towards the end of the course. Our vocalists will be adding their vocals properly as this time was for the instruments and Mikey will be adding extra guitar parts. We are also playing with the idea of getting other local musicians to help shape the tracks with violin, saxophone and extra vocals. Hopefully our songs will be mixed and mastered over the next two weeks so they can be added with Liv and Jerome’s electric tracks to our EP, which Liv will be designing the album art as her art work is AWESOME!

Written by Molly Perryman

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

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

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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