Between December 2009 and March 2010, MyView brought together 18 young people through an online platform to explore complex local and global social issues. Hi8us South partnered with local youth and youth arts organisations in the targeted areas of London, Luton, Slough, Birmingham, Leicester, Bradford, Manchester, Oldham and Blackburn (Pendle) to engage young people between the ages of 13 and 19 from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds. Some excluded from formal education.
The professional team included filmmakers and “theme experts” including Munir Zamir (a former Islamic radical now working with young people affected by the issues underlying violent extremism); John Pandit, co-founder of Asian Dub Foundation, and University of London researcher Imogen Wallace.
Activity began with workshops to shape the interaction design and content of an online platform that would support discourse between the participants around the themes and issues and provide non-didactic access to background information. The group of participants and professionals were brought together for a launch workshop in London before returning home to work with their youth workers and delegated professional film-makers in local workshops. Each participant was given to keep a Kodak Zi8 pocket HD camera and microphone kit to make their own individual films. The participants developed their ideas in their local workshops and through dialogue with their peers and the theme experts via the online platform before embarking on independent shooting supported by their youth workers. The completed films were posted to the site where they stimulated further discourse and the project culminated in a screening event at Channel 4 attended by all of the participants and Kevin Sutcliffe, Channel 4′s Head of News & Current Affairs, among others. Each film represents a unique and personal insight using a variety of creative approaches. They can be seen at my-view.org, which is being made available to schools nationally as a peer learning resource.
MyView was commissioned by Creativity, Culture & Education [CCE], the national charity responsible for the delivery of the governments Find Your Talent and Creative Partnerships initiatives along with Shine, national festival of youth arts and the creative approaches to the governments Prevent programme. CCE will be publishing a book containing the written work of the sibling creative writing project MyVoice, delivered by the Reading Agency, and DVD containing the MyView films.