We worked with a group of youths living in White City and Wormholt to talk about their experiences of growing up in the area. We met once a week from January to March and we used photography as a means to represent their lives. Initially the group learned the basics of photography and once they had confidence in using the medium they slowly moved onto working in pairs. They directed their photography, finding their ideal environmental settings, to take photos of each other. As time went on, they started to incorporate in the sessions, their personal experiences. These were coupled with intermittent sessions where all the group engaged in discussions.
We did not input the subject matter, we just facilitated the conversations. We took audio recordings and photos of what they shared as being relevant to their lives.
One of the emerging worry for young people was fear of the future, anxiety which was greatly impacted by Covid-19 pandemic and the drastic changes that it brought to their lives. Loneliness and confusion were also established somewhat by fear of catching covid and the transition from lockdowns to moving back to ‘normal’. One of the participants, expressed very beautifully:
Photographically the group worked on expressing what was like to be a young person today, producing great set of photo stories, which they document, their lives through friends, their state of mind, self portraits and photo story on one of the participant.
Following a visual narrative, one of the participants took photos to describe the subject inner life.
Self expression was the method used by this participant, producing a stunning set of landscape photograph that would show their inner mind.
The experience of being a young refugee is shown in a beautiful set of photographs. The participants expresses her fears, longing to see their family and hopes for the future.
The teenage world is brought to life by this great set of images captured with a mobile phone. The images document her life through her friends, social life and being together. These photos are wonderfully candid.
The project culminated in a photography showcase part of a Youth Arts Showcase on the 2nd of April at Our Lady of Fatima Hall in White City. The event was a great occasion for the participants to show their work in a public context. The event was attended by many people and was punctuated by presentations and arts workshops. Beneficiaries received a Certificate to award them for their work and participation. They are also officially part of youth arts development team.
Beneficiaries were asked to feedback on the project, at the start of the project, mid way and at the end. We measured:
Learned new skills
Improved further education, cv, prospects
We are continuing to work with the participants by inviting them to have their say and be part of future arts developments in White City and Wormholt. The project was kindly supported by W12together, who where also the organisers of the Arts Showcase.