The Big Idea: exploring the concepts of identity and citizenship using painting, photography and poetry
‘Who Am I?’ is a RSA-linked project exploring, through art, photography and poetry, the thoughts of young people and their place in contemporary society. We have now received support via RSA Catalyst to crowdfund so we can produce a book showing their artwork.
We hope to capture what young people think about who they individually are in relation to those around them, to awaken a thoughtful approach and to unlock latent creative talent! Our aim seems to be working as the art works to be displayed at the touring exhibition which launches at the Library of Birmingham on Wednesday 22 January 2104 are of the highest quality (we were mainly funded by Arts Council England who we will not let down). The project aims to celebrate the many voices, languages and cultural influences alive in Birmingham and the Black Country.
The story so far
One of our biggest achievements has been the wide range of young people involved. We have NEETs, those with special education needs, sixth formers and young people ‘off the street’; a wide ethnic and age range plus a good gender mix. Kathy, one of the students, really made it all worthwhile when she emailed me:
“I am really looking forward to the exhibition, I think it'll be a great experience and I've thoroughly enjoyed being part of the project, it has really inspired me and taken me on a journey of self-discovery.”
I’m really happy about the number of regional Fellows that have got engaged in this exciting project. They have brought their skills and talents and they themselves have been surprised about how they have engaged with the young people and the effect it has had on them personally – summed up by one Fellow who said:
“I didn’t know I could relate to young people like this – they have been an inspiration!”
How you can get involved
There is still time for Fellows to get involved! After the exhibition launch in Birmingham it goes on a six month tour around the Black Country before returning to the Drum in Birmingham in late June 2014 for its final showing. So do catch it and see for yourselves!
We would also like your help to spread the word by contributing to our crowdfunding campaign to produce a high quality publication which will permanently capture the remarkable art work and achievements from the young people involved. All you need to do is visit our Who Am I? project page on the RSA crowdfunding site and donate anything from £10 to £1000! You will be well rewarded - from a copy of the publication to having the exhibition come to your organisation.
If you'd like to find out more about the project, I’m more than happy to speak to you, so please do contact me on 07809 618742 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keith Horsfall FRSA
Chair, RSA West Midlands region
Connect to Keith on LinkedIn
Visit the Who Am I? project page on Kickstarter