Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Power of Poetry & Animation: Giving Voice to Young Urban Writers

An exciting project in the Western Sydney is giving voice to students from diverse backgrounds, using poetry supported by simple yet very effective animations. These year 7 children with varied cultural heritages, different abilities and interests are being helped to see significant meaning in everyday life. This is important work that can be replicated in other places.

Sir Joseph Banks High School students are having their poetry turned into animation by a local filmmaker. Bankstown Youth Development Service (BYDS) facilitated the project. This is an arts based cultural development organisation located at the Bankstown Arts Centre. Watch this short video that demonstrates the power of language when grounded in the lives of these writers. The animations support the writing of these young poets and the work offers an insight into the way they see their everyday lives.

Thirteen students from year 7 worked with the Chief Editor of Westside Publications, Michael Mohammed Ahmad, to develop writing that was then animated by 2012 Shortcuts Film Festival winner Vinh Nguyen. Every year Westside Publications produces a series of Westside anthologies. These anthologies are the only ongoing literary journals that feature Western Sydney writers, visual artists and photographers.

A Great Collaboration

Photo courtesy Wiki Commons
The above video, called ‘Coming to Voice’ was screened for the first time at an assembly at Sir Joseph Banks High School on the 23rd August and launched on the BYDS website as a new web series. Principal of Sir Joseph Banks High School Brad Mitchell said the videos allowed the students to display their talent. He suggested that the production of the animated video is "...a fantastic way to showcase their work and share it with other students.”

“Our relationship with BYDS and Michael Mohammed continues to help foster the creativity and expression of our students in new and interesting ways, and we are extremely grateful for the support.” 

Michael Mohammed Ahmad said the project reflects the convergent nature of the publishing industry:

“I wanted to invest in a medium that was easier and more accessible than publishing but one that also maintained the same literary value that all our writing projects have had.”

 Other related posts on animation

'Film Making for Kids: Three Great Resources' HERE 

'25 Great Children's Apps to Stimulate Literacy, Learning & Creativity' HERE

No comments: