ROOTS LDN – Community Research Project 2018
ROOTS LDN (Summary)
Between February and May of 2018, You Press collaborated with the Greater London Authority (GLA) in order to deliver a community research project that focused on social inclusion, integration and developing civic leaderships in communities that currently do not have a voice in City Hall. Originally aiming for 12 participants from the BAME demographic ranging from 16-30-years-old, You Press managed to bring in 18 researchers to collect data regarding topics of communal concern. Once research had been completed, all researchers were required to express their findings through a piece of visual, audio or written art. Read more here…
You Press collaborated with the GLA in order to find out how improvements could be made in bridging the gap between communities who are less well-represented and the authorities. We originally planned for 12 young researchers between the ages of 16-30 in the BAME community to conduct research with at least five family members and friends to see what concerns them in the community. The project gained so much attention that we ended up bringing on board 18 bright young people who were keen in expressing themselves creatively.
On 7th February 2018, we delivered the first workshop for our Community Research Project called ROOTS LDN at the Paddington Arts facility. Like most meetings, our selected researchers were shy in communicating with each other at first. But after three core workshops over the course of six weeks, all of us managed to open up to each other, sharing our stories and expressing our diverse range of artistic thought.
In the opening core workshop, we worked with the researchers in a group activity that involved finding the group values that we would reflect on over the course of the project. We managed to come up with five. Honesty, Trust, Empathy, Inspire and Fun.
We queried what these five core values meant to each of us and concluded:
Honesty – to be honest not only with the You Press team, but with yourself in what you will be able to commit to during the duration of the project.
Trust – to have trust in the You Press staff to provide a safe space in order to work and communicate regarding the project. Whilst utilising the trust you already have with family members to record effective and detailed data.
Empathy – to relate to the stories we share with each other. Creating a bond that not only brings the community together, but helps provide a better understanding of the plight of others.
Inspire – to inspire and be inspired. With the anecdotes you share and collect, the ability to convert what you gathered into a creative piece of art.
Fun – to have fun! In order to work effectively, there must be stimuli that helps you get your creative juices flowing. Whether through conversation or sharing your creative pieces in the workshops.
In the second core workshop, the researchers alongside project coordinators shared their countries of heritage. From that, each participant created a short piece of poetry to share back to the group. Some of the work achieved that day displayed a lot of powerful verses revealing not only the pride of each researchers’ countries, but also the hardships faced through their history.
In our final core workshop, we discussed and demonstrated the literary technique used by writers known as ‘Anecdotal Recollection’. In pairs, participants had to tell each other a short bizarre story with the task being to rewrite the story that they listened to. The aim was to demonstrate the core value of Inspire by listening to these stories and interpreting them into their own artistic styles in written form.
All researchers were required to record their data from a minimum of five family members and submit their creative output by the end of March 2018. After a month of data analysis, May 2018 saw the completion and celebration of the project. Which included live performances of each researchers’ creative output.