During the height of lockdown, CAPA College students and a team of professional artists worked remotely to produce a film which collated creative responses to the current protests surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement and racial inequality. The focus of the film was to acknowledge where our naivety lies and what we pledge to do from today onwards.
This project provided an opportunity for young people to respond through spoken word and movement to share their voice on a matter which they felt they were often told to be quiet about. In house director Stacey Johnstone collaborated with two local artists with creative guidance on the content of this film from professional actor/director/film maker, Dermot Daly. Acclaimed sound designer Shane Durrant worked to create a textured soundscape to accompany text and movement.
The original film continues to engage people in on our digital platform and was made by 19 young people aged 16-18. It was included on a digital program for York Theatre Royal’s ‘Pop-Up on the Patio’ Dance Shorts event curated by York Dance Space.
The Next Stage
We now want to use the film as a springboard to deepen the conversation about race and inequality with more young people in Yorkshire by developing Pledge into a streamed performance piece and accompanying creative workshops.
We will engage more young people in the creative process with a group of 10 being involved in a writing group that will develop and be credited for the script produced for Pledge. An additional (approx.) 60 young people will be involved with developing the physical content and performance.
Post-performance workshops will explore the content of the piece and allow for children aged 12-16 to develop their understanding of why there have been (and continue to be) shifts in the fight against racism in our communities.
The filmed performance will provide schools and community youth groups with a digital resource, including the completed script that they can use when approaching the subject of race with young people.
This project is part of our long-term commitment to being aware and address racial equality in the arts and education. Our critical analysis of this issue is something that we have been working closely on with our students as part of our own ongoing pledge to keep diversity and inclusion at the forefront of our outreach work.
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: “CAPA College received funding as part of a special round of my Safer Communities Fund aimed at supporting our diverse communities.
“Having these open discussions as well as learning about race and other cultures from a young age is so important and helps to increase better understanding and community cohesion. CAPA College are doing this using an engaging medium which is sure to capture the attention of younger and older people alike, my thanks to the whole team for all their work on this programme.”
This project has been funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire’s Safer Communities Fund