Students are being inspired to express themselves creatively whilst developing their storytelling skills under the guidance of internationally-renowned professionals as part of an innovative arts project.
Acclaimed filmmaker and producer, Mohammed Ali MBE - founder of the not-for-profit Soul City Arts community organisation - worked with a group of Year 9 students to empower them to think about their lives and tell their own stories in a creative way.
DJ and Musician, Mathieu Shenton-Barber, photographer/filmmaker, Richard Baddeley, and workshop leader, Manpreet Darroch, also came into school as part of the project to inspire students to look at the current reality of their lives so far and their potential for the future.
The project is funded by the National Network for Collaborative Outreach (NNCO), which is overseen by the Aimhigher partnership. The aim of the NNCO is to deliver outreach events and activities in order to raise aspirations and encourage more people to think about pursuing further education.
Students will use this creative process to give them the confidence to share their stories with students from other schools during an event at Aston University. A film is being created documenting the process of the project and to allow students to explain what impact it has had on them.
Through artistic intervention and creative expression, the project - called TruStories - aims to inspire students to explore, reflect and challenge the beliefs young people have around attainment, aspiration and identity.
Mr Ali said: “Young people use storytelling techniques to engage with an alternative narrative and explore where they want to be in life and what it means to get there.
“This project empowers young people to tell their stories as well as hearing and feeling other people’s experiences. By hearing success stories as well as honest narratives from their peers, young people participating in this project will be inspired to challenge their current status quo.”
Humanities and Citizenship teacher, Mrs C.Hartshorne, said: “We are delighted to be part of this project to work in collaboration with a variety of renowned artists. This will allow students to look at their lives and the direction in which they want to go in future.
“It has inspired them to look at things in a different way, challenge their status quo and then express themselves creatively. I am really looking forward to seeing the finished film following their session at Birmingham City University.”