WRITING: Processions a walking art show

100 years ago, women were given the right to vote and stand for office. Processions 2018 a beautiful walking art exhibition celebrated just that. Many women, girls, those who identified as women or non-binary (I even spotted a few male supporters) came together to walk from Green Park station to Parliament to support, record and exhibit their banners. Report by NAOMI GAHIE for Engage London

A sea of marchers at Processions where everyone wore Green, White or Violet banners (the Suffragettes code for Give Women Votes). (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

Exiting Green Park station my eyes were instantly drawn to colour green, purple and white everywhere I turned; the colour for the Suffragettes. The sight of hundreds of women, banners, chanting, battle crying, dancing and most importantly smiling in celebration of an event that changed the life for women in the UK was incredible.

Waiting to start Processions a walking art show across London (Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh). (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

The aura emitted from the participants was infectious, you could feel the love, the injustice of more that was to be resolved, the celebration of the accomplishments to date, it was impossible to not smile, join in the chants and at times have a little boogie to the music around.

Still Not Good Enough – the fab banner Naomi Gahie (R) and friends at Pilion Trust created to join the Processions March across London on 10 June to celebrate 100 years of (some) women having the vote. (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

Our banner for the march zoned in or 4 points our group had decided they wanted to draw attention to:

  • Modern Slavery – A worldwide epidemic that is so close to home. The U.K. one of top 10 countries affected by modern-day slavery, with a record-breaking number of reports made related to modern day slavery and trafficking made just last year.
  • Forced Marriage – A saddening and putrid practise affecting many in today’s modern society across the world. Illegal in the U.K. since June 16th, 2014; it should be illegal worldwide.
  • Domestic Violence – A vulgar offence I believe affects us all one way or the other, if it’s not close family, it may be a friend or a friend of a friend. Sadly, a lot of people are still under the impression this only affects women, men are also affected by domestic violence and a lot more unlikely to come forward and report it.
  • Gender Pay Gap – I think it’s pretty self-explanatory, don’t you?

Our chosen slogan at the front of our banner “STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH”, was chosen to get the message across that although we have come far as a society there is still much inequality that must come to an end hence the “TO BE CONTINUED…” at the back of the banner.

The brilliant 2-sided banner from Pilion Trust. (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

I was bamboozled and humbled to see our banner had sparked conversation by passers-by such as the recent vote to legalise abortion in the Republic of Ireland. I hate to toot my own horn but we were stopped every 5 minutes just so pictures could be taken off our amazingly executed, thought-provoking, eye-catching banner. Too much? Sue me!

There were many groups that really peaked my interest such as a woman dressed in attire from 1918 with a humongous parliament model on top of her head or the colourful “Power to the future” banner an array of colours and three-dimensional flowers and geometric-somethings popping out to bring it to life.

There is nothing I would change about the march, it was such an honour to be part of the event which will remain close to my heart till the day I depart the earth.

Happy after the Women’s Procession celebration of (some) women getting the vote in 1918. Engage London members Naomi Gahie (2nd from left in green sash) and Fadz Ali (far right in violet sash). (c) Pilion Trust

As a first timer to a march of any sorts, I must admit I was nervous for what I would be expecting, however, that disappeared instantly as soon as I could what I could only describe as love. I can assure you I will be involved in the next Processions march, will you be joining me?

  • Read the Q&A with Naomi Gahie here.
  • Processions was organised by Artichoke

 

 

 

Making TV: #hearmespeak Question Time

For the second Engage London workshop, we moved into the TV studio at City’s Journalism Department. The result was a hard-hitting Question Time show. Please watch then let us know what you think about the #hearmespeak team’s opinions on being street smart and opportunities for young people.

The #hearmespeak team in City TV studio after recording our Question Time show. Topics for the panel included knife crime, sex education, lifelong learning and being gay (c) Amelia Green for Engage London

How do you choose just four panellists for a TV show when you have such a great group of young people, aged 18-25, with a lot to say? Pilion Trust chief exec Savvas Panas decided that the best method would be to pull names from a (metaphorical) hat. That’s how our panel was Yasmin Sharman, Surelle Stevens, Pandora Khody and Fadz Ali. City first year journalism student, Matt Hardy, sporting a jazzy TV-style shirt, took on the role of anchor.

Working on the technical team proved a popular choice too. The whole TV show was filmed by Engage London’s Brandon Richards, Misgana Afesa, Jahbarey Winter, Gerrell Rose and Marcus Simmonds working with City technicians Dave Goodfellow and David Brandsbury. Skills learnt included technical grasp of Tricaster, ability to work in a team, operating the manual camera and  using the audio mixer.

Notes showing planned audience questions. (c) Engage London

With 18 active on the #hearmespeak team, including journalism students and Pilion Trust members, plus an invited audience of 26, there were still plenty of people wanting to have their say on camera for Engage London. So a Question Time format worked well, giving, another six people a chance to raise important views for young Londoners. They also experienced the camera pan on to them when anchor Matt turned to the audience to present their question.

The result was a fabulous show. Watch and enjoy it here (click on the link):

https://mediaspace.city.ac.uk/media/180418+QT+HearMeSpeak/1_qd09ypiy

In the audience

Special guest in the audience for our Engage London #hearmespeak TV show was Jennette Arnold, OBE, who has been a member of the London Assembly since 2000 and currently Chair of the London Assembly. (c) Barbara Schofield for Engage London

As well as team members and supporters, we had a special guest in the audience. This was Jennette Arnold who has been a member of the London Assembly since 2000 and is chair of the London Assembly (2017-18). She loved the show, taking a front row seat to be able to see all the action. At the end of the recording, Jennette gave a wrap talk thanking all the #hearmespeak participants saying how much she “loved the professionalism… I have to know what young people in my constituency are feeling. The questions were so relevant.” She ended by inviting us all to “go and visit City Hall,” which is where the Mayoral Assembly members, including Mayor Sadiq Khan are based, just by the River Thames, opposite the Tower of London.

Feedback:

Jennette Arnold, Chair of the London Assembly :  

“A big Thank You 🌹for the welcoming informative time that I spent with you, your collaborators, Students and guest at HEAR ME SPEAK event. You clearly have developed an excellent programme, which has been well received by a number of the students I spoke with. Please do keep me updated on progress, and do not hesitate to call me, if you believe that I can be of assistance to you or your students.”

Lemn Sissay, actor & poet

(From his PA, Sarah) I’m afraid Lemn was away at an event in Lancashire last night but thank you anyway and please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any future enquiries.

Fardowsa Ali (what’s app) #hearmespeak panellist

“It was awesome”

Pandora Khody (what’s app) #hearmespeak panellist

“Thank you guys.”

>>More feedback to come…

#hearmespeak on air: staying safe in London

Staying safe in London – that’s the focus of the #hearmespeak podcast recorded at City, University of London journalism department, on 12 April 2018. This was the group’s first workshop. Let us know what you think, and how you stay safe in London.

Engage London pose just before the clock starts ticking to make a Staying Safe in London podcast. (c) Engage London

Podcast team: Fardowsa Ali, Catriona Beck, Martina Chessa, Favour Ekengwu, Amelia Green, Matt Hardy, Ted Jeffery, Pandora Khody, Alun Macer-Wright, Brandon Richards, Marcus Simmonds, Surelle Stevens, Gideon Tibamagyag.

Thanks to: Richard Evans (producer), Barbara Schofield (from City), David Bransbury and Ahmed Yusuf (technicians), Nicola Baird  (from Islington Faces), Savvas Panas  (from Pilion Trust).

Here you can see a behind-the-scenes film made by City journalism student Amelia Green as the podcast was created.

FEEDBACK
“Fabulous work from our #HearMeSpeak team this evening! We’re on air – great podcast and brilliant and talented crew.” Barbara Schofield

“Congratulations to everyone in working together as an amazing team to produce a professional radio programme that was educational and entertaining. Very proud of you all.” Savvas Panos

March: what’s happening behind the scenes?

Engage London quickly adopted the hashtag #hearmespeak. The group were recruited in March and loved the idea of learning how to make shows and get their voice heard. While waiting to go to City, the university, for the workshops in April, they got busy figuring out priority topics.

Minutes from #hearmespeak (c) engagelondon

So they got to work themselves.

The WhatsApp group got super busy and several meet-ups were held to discuss ideas. Favour sent in minutes from one of those meetings – thank you. Impressive organisation!

#hearmespeak topic brainstorm (c) Engage London

Top topics
Here are some of the topics that the #hearmespeak group may turn into podcasts, TV debate and blog posts. Can’t wait.

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1 Immigration:

  • We all know someone who’s an immigrant
  • Illegal push backs
  • Immigrants wellbeing/opportunity
  • Asylums
  • Immigrant fees are expensive

2 Cost of living in the UK:

  • Housing is expensive
  • Eviction

3 Gender Equality:

  • LGBT
  • Pay Gap
  • Jobs
  • Gay and transgender in prison

4 Social Cleansing:

  • Gentrification – rich people moving into poor areas and the poor has to move out.

5 Social Media:

  • Good and bad about social media
  • Social anxiety

6 Housing:

  • YMCA
  • They need to be shut down due to high crime rate.
  • There is no protection for young people. (Age 17-24)

7 Criminal Injustice:

  • Injustice especially against black boys
  • Unfair judgement for joint enterprise

7 Sexual Health:

  • More information and awareness
  • Free sanitary towel

8 Mental Health

9 NHS and Civil Servants:

  • The government should stop their salary cut.
  • They should invest more

10 More for the homeless:

  • There should be more awareness that there are different ways to help the homeless
  • More awareness about food bank

11 Bullying:

  • Social media instigation
  • Cyber bullying (cyber bullies should be published and shamed)
  • Self-harm
  • Friends
  • Sexual abuse
  • Bully awareness

12 Lack of trust:

  • Between young people and adults
  • Between the governments and society
  • Students and teachers
  • Class and hierarchy discrimination/ being judgemental

13 Lack of public funds, money laundering

14 Environmental protection

15 Friendship

16 Cover year 1994 (cover the 1990s timeline to present)

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Yup. We’ve got a lot to do… Thanks to everyone from Engage London for these ideas. Let’s get to the studios.