Here’s a quick update on 2 current projects from People’s Palace Projects an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation based at Queen Mary University of London.
The Verbatim Formula
In the beginning of July, 14 young people from the borough of Wandsworth worked for a full weekend at Battersea Arts Centre together with Prof. Maggie Inchley (QMSED), Sylvan Baker and Sadhvi Dar (QM Business and Management) using verbatim techniques to make a performance that shares their experience of care services. The workshops ended with a presentation open to the public, which had as audience members of the Department of Education, social workers Wandsworth Council Representatives, artists and foster carers. Next up, the project is hosting its first University Summer Residency outside QMUL, in partnership with University of East London, engaging young people from Newham Council this beginning of July.
The Verbatim Formula is an creative action research project which is currently working with looked after children and young people, recording the words of participants and sharing them through performance. The process is being developed by Dr Sylvan Baker, Dr Maggie Inchley and Dr Sadhvi Dar at Queen Mary University of London’s Drama Department, Ms. Mita Pujara (evaluator) and produced by People’s Palace Projects, in partnership with the Greater London Authority Peer Outreach Team and funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
People’s Palace Projects’ new student theatre company at QMUL will be performing Stage 3, an immersive theatre experience that will involve the young people* in the Tafahum project in Tower Hamlets as participants. The production looks at the bureaucracy and power of the naturalisation system. The performance will be presented as a space for dialogue between the performers and the participating young people and decision makers. The aim is to engage the participating audiences in a mock process of citizenship in order to generate conversations about the subject of migration, discrimination and belonging, which resonates with many of the issues raised by the young people at the Tafahum project. Some of the young people have experienced, or are experiencing, the complex immigration process. This production will address the process of being categorized based on race, age and socio-economic background (class), placing participants in positions that question their perceptions of power and powerlessness. This production is strongly linked to young people’s sense of belonging and citizenship rights.
*Tower Hamlets A Team Arts participants, Youth Parliament, and youth in Tower Hamlets.