Author Archives for Lynn

Creatively representing homelessness in Brighton

‘Life Through Lens’ finished last week with a celebratory event showcasing the young people’s photographic work in the Foyer Gallery at the Jubilee library in Brighton. The project was created and lead by young people from the Clock Tower Sanctuary, a charity that offers information, advice and guidance to young homeless or insecurely housed young people aged 16-25 from in and around the Brighton area.

Throughout July and August the Clock Tower young people worked with cmap photographic artists Katie Miller and Lynn Weddle and were actively engaged in using photography in new ways. The group worked with disposable film cameras to document their lives, creating a visual diary.

The images formed a narrative about the young peoples day to day realities; ‘What we choose to photograph says alot about who we are. It has been challenging but insightful’. Says Maris the project mentor wanted there to be no rules about what subjects his peers captured, ‘As long as they have an important message from that person’.

The group of young people meet to discuss the images they were taking and considered why they were taking them, and what they would reflect and reveal, gradually deciding on a final set that they feel ready and happy to show publicly. The group then learnt how to develop black and white prints from scratch in the photographic darkroom alongside developing practical photographic skills, all of which were displayed within the exhibition.

Loen, one of the project participants commented saying ‘an immense pleasure to have my artwork viewed by the public’.

We hope to continue our new partnership with Clock Tower and the young people who attend. Watch this space….

‘I’m just me’ Photography project UK

Since September cmap has been running our photography project ‘I’m just me’ for young people who attend ‘Allsorts’ a youth project based in Brighton to support and empower young people under 26 who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or unsure (LGBTU) of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

‘I’m just me’ is a Youth Initiative inspired by a virtual exchange project cmap facilitated in 2011 titled ‘Just Different’. Young people who took part in the original project want to organise a follow up programme that will help other young people explore their sense of identity in a positive way as the experienced themselves. The project has funded by a Youth in Action grant from the British Council.

The project has involved a group of 12 young people aged 16-25 designing and delivering their own photography based sessions on identity and self to other youth groups in schools and youth clubs in Brighton, London and across the South East. The group has designed a pop up photo studio which invites other young people to pose for a self-portrait with a blackboard speech bubble which outlines their thoughts on identity and difference. Their aim is to stimulate debate on the importance of ‘being yourself’ and to also break down the preconceptions and prejudices other young people hold about LGBTU groups. Their hope is that the touring photography studio will enable their peers to understand the importance of tolerance and diversity in society.

“Peer educating can be such a great tool to explore different ways of thinking because the environment that is created through it can feel so safe and relaxed. This is absolutely vital when what you are discussing can be of a sore subject. It could be perceived that many young people live by a “you lead and I’ll follow” mentality as an outcome of low self esteem and the beauty of the individual is being lost. The media and other sources have such an influence on how young people view themselves and this sometimes isn’t to a positive effect- its projects like this that can help to remind young people that being different to each other is a beautiful thing. The use of photography helps make being involved exciting as well as allowing those involved to see themselves in a new dynamic way. I’m so proud that I could be a part of something so special!”
Reuben Davidson, project participant

All of the work the produced by the young people will be exhibited to the public in a show in Brighton in December. Participants will be supported by their Coaches, cmap Facilitators Laura Montag and Lynn Weddle, but the exhibition design and curation will be led by the young people themselves.

“The project has been a positively amazing experience to be involved in. It has enabled young people to gain practical skills as well as a sense of empowerment whilst 
building their self-confidence. It has engaged other youth groups to challenge issues surrounding discrimination and prejudices and to gain a greater awareness of the impact.

The core group of young people have worked well together where photography has proved to be a great tool to share and collaborate on ideas. Some young people are studying photography and have been keen to share and develop their technical photography skills within the concept of the project.

The young people have voiced the importance of working within a wider community or youth groups to promote a sense of identity in a positive way. Some are working as peer educators and have first hand experience on the impact within working with a wider community has.

The images produced by the young people have been powerful and thought provoking. Through a series of discussion groups the young people chose make images that would promote and celebrate diversity and the importance of ‘being yourself’. They wanted to share with other young people the value of respect for all regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Laura Montag, Facilitator

Light Up the World inspired by the Paralympics Games 2012

‘Light Up the World’, is an animation about the Paralympics by 497 young disabled and non-disable young people from 12 Countries across the globe. cmap participants in Brazil were involved in this exciting and large scale project, working with Gary Schwartz to create a section in the piece that represents their country.

This project has been an enormous feat requiring all the Paralympic Values of determination, inspiration, courage and equality to complete, where the process has equal importance. All of the children involved will be receiving an inspire mark badge for their work and inspiration.

During the course of the Olympics we have heard a great deal about sustaining interest in sport and inspiring young people, and how sport is important in life skills, like leadership and team work.

We are looking forward to the film’s official premier at the Paralympic Flame Festival and Torch event at Stoke Mandeville Stadium on 28th August and to working to sustain this valuable work that provides such amazing role models for young people of all abilities and cultures.

Olá cmap Brazil…

Olá! Bem-vindo.

cmap has commenced a new venture with the set up of a programme with ACER an NGO in Eldorado a suburb of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

Volunteer Arts Educators Rhea McAteer and Rachel Silver together with cmap Director Lynn Weddle arrived in Eldorado in April. We were welcomed by lots of smiling children, sounds of caperia lessons, renditions of Adele, the monsoon rain and the most friendly, welcoming staff team.

We will be working with the 3 programmes that ACER runs: Education and Culture, Social Education and the Adolescents programme.

We have visited the communities were ACER work as well as setting up the arts projects. Rachel will be working across ACER’s programme to create three mosaics. One within the community centre and two at local football pitches. Children, young people and the local community with be involved in developing the designs for the large scale art works as well as the process of making them.

Rhea will be working with two groups from the Social Education team exploring self-identity through music, drama and visual art. As well as running a monthly art session for the children of families from the community who meet monthly to discuss their needs. Rhea is also planning to set up four weekly yoga class for all at ACER. Watch this space for more updates!

As well as developing the programme of arts workshops for a variety of groups here at ACER we have been involved in an international sharing project titled ‘Driving Inspiration’ inspired by the Paralympic games.

A group of young people were guided by oscar nominated Animator Gary Schwartz, who is based in the USA and producer Vicky Hope-Walker based in the UK, via a specifically designed live link up site. The large scale project is involving over 10 groups of young people from across the globe, each group will produce a 1 minute animated piece taking the Paralympic torch through their country.

The group were guided through a creative process of considering what Courage, Inspiration, Determination and Equality, the four core Paralympic values, mean to them.

We then explored ideas of how to represent Brazil. Our animation piece is going to be a guided tour of Brazil by a character who is a famous young Brazilian football player that has the flames of the Paralympic torch for hair. We have ideas of our character playing football with the animals in the rainforest, surfing on Guaruja beach in Sao Paulo and giving the Jesus Christ statue in Rio De Jarnio a ‘high five’. All along the way our character is being carious and determined to carry the Paralympic torch to celebrate his country.

All of the ideas, sketching, storyboards and photographic imagery created by the group will be shared with a class of Year 6 pupils from Chalfont school in the UK in June, who will construct the animation and share it via an online link up ahead of the live screening in August.

“I am lucky I am taking part in this project as I am putting together two things I like: art and football. I have also got to meet new people.”

Thank you Mauro, Ana, Yago, Italo and Raquel for your amazing input to cmap’s first project with ACER. It was a a pleasure to work with you.

Thank you ACER. We are extremely honored to be working with you all and your truly inspiring organisation. May this be the start of a long, fruitful and most importantly creative partnership.

Muito obrigado.

Emma Gentle visits Juconi, Mexico again…

Yet again I’ve been lucky enough to work with the children and young people at Juconi, and yet again I have come away feeling all the richer for the experience. Though the workshops were shorter this time they still functioned a place of experiencial learning, problem solving and experimentation with ideas and materials. The process had the upper hand as the end piece was hard to reach- saying that, there are 2 rather interesting and colourful mobiles that are waiting for more shapes to be added as the art classes at Juconi in the year ahead allows. I was again blown away by the concentration and aptitude in getting the job doe as well as the friendly welcome I received by the young people at Casa Juconi; and also the creative friendly welcoming children at Centro Juconi. A big thank you!