PLEDGE is a new film about the impact of racism created by and about young people seeking to address hate crime in West Yorkshire. This original piece of work is a celebration of how much our young people are open to questioning their own experiences and understanding of racism. This second film under the title of ‘Pledge’ is a continuation of a project which began during the first national lockdown and aims to inspire 12-16year-olds to confidently have conversations which can feel uncomfortable to initiate.
A corresponding resource pack and workshop tour will commence in January 2023. An in-house young company will assist facilitating an exploration of the content to creatively channel the voices of young people; their concerns, opinions, questions and personal experiences surrounding racial inequality.
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 all our work at CAPA College.
“I’ve learned so much about both racism in itself and the history of it, but also about looking deeper into things in general. Talking deeper about myself, others, racism, life, and so many other areas that we’ve thought about in the sessions has opened up my mind more than I thought” (participant response).
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.
“Some innovative and responsive digital art to get you thinking, check out #Pledge”- Gecko Theatre
Throughout 2021/2022, students worked collaboratively to develop scripted content for the development of the second extended film which has been produced with two additional artists, in-house choreographer Tom Tindal and professional film maker John Slemensek.
This project has been funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire’s Safer Communities Fund.
“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.”