The project, funded by Lloyds Bank Foundation, was designed to raise self esteem and confidence, develop respect, broaden horizons, promote mature relationships and reduce sexual harassment and more serious abuse. The project is not about CSE although that issue is constantly in the news, locally and nationally.
The aim of the project was to examine the background to the way gender attitudes are formed, looking at peer pressure, the mass media, fashion, celebrities, social networks and digital media in general.
The third phase of the project was co-ordinated by Kate Bradnam who put together a superb team of artists to work, as duos, with 8 youth groups. We were delighted that Rochdale Youth Service was able to commit to the project which not only made it easier to deliver sessions to a diverse range of youth groups in Rochdale but also greatly increased the audience for the final event. The finale took place at Contact Theatre in Manchester, part of our growing partnership with Contact, in front of an audience of 250 young people from across Greater Manchester. The show was a raucous mixture of drama, animations, and poetry performed by some of the artists who had delivered the workshop sessions and compered by Freestyle Fictionary. The artists took the material written by the young people and devised a fast paced provocative show which drew a lively and vocal response from the audience.
We are now working on a resource for youth workers to enable them to pursue some of the issues explored through the project with their own groups.
Artists involved: Martin Stannage, Chelsea Morgan, Mike Cooper, Afreena Islam, Yussuf M’Rabty, Saquib Chowdhury, Keisha Thompson, Bethany Hermitt, Jess Loveday, Sara Cocker