Action for Education
Refugee youth of London, 2016
The NGO Refugee Youth created APOW (Amazing People of the World), a local project that operates in Croydon, London. Young refugees currently living in the UK have a regular space where to develop new skills and to enjoy weekly workshops including all sorts of creative activities, from poetry and painting, to drama, dance and photography. APOW is a cross-cultural group where everyone can organise games, prepare food, exchange experiences and make friends while feeling part of a stable environment. Creativity offers concrete possibilities and a process of personal empowerment in such a complex reality. Each activity is organised ‘with’ and ‘for’ the young people, being all engaged through Participatory Action Research methods (PAR) and wishing to conduct positive changes within the development of their community. APOW is inspiring given that it actively represents how should look like an accessible education for all to then aspire, as citizens, to a better integration in the UK.
Protest for Education
Sounds for Education in London, 2016
The first experiences in APOW have made me reflect equally about the current inequalities of Education presented by the rising cost of university courses, particularly for studies in social work, which ironically attends to those suffering from social immobility. At that time, the national demonstration 'United for Education' took place the Saturday 19th of November, from Park Lane in central London until the final rally stage in Milbank Street, close to the UK Parliament. Protesters marched calling for a free and good quality education as a right for everyone. This in-depth sensorial experience was part of an ongoing research on Education, in which the video below explores the sensory nature and impact of the protest as well as the relation between sounds and space in a time based analysis.
The material gathered during the protest served as a basis to create a lightweight structure of cardboard and wood, easy to transport anywhere, and aiming to be communicative and provocative with its audience. The 'Educational Artefact' created a participatory atmosphere using the protest as a medium to stimulate discussion and debate on the roots of Education. Thus, the artefact was 'alive'. It built trust and asked the same engaging question into a public space of protest, Speakers' Corner, involving citizens as participants of the on-going investigation. Their individual contribution were recorded or written on a piece of paper, facilitating the development of further ideas and hypotheses that challenge Education through the lens of social immobility. The critical reflection behind this project should make us question the opportunities and resources that young people, whether there are or not refugees, should deserve in a tolerant environment.