Supporting communities to crowdfund for projects which matter to their neighbourhood.
The project is a partnership between established community activists, a collaborative practice, brought together as “Knives Out” by Swords Into Ploughshares CIC working with experienced staff from Round Midnight Theatre, Street Doctors, TAS Mentoring and Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery. At the core of the project is an innovative approach which uses participant-led craftivist practices to challenge thinking around ‘road life’, gang membership and, specifically, knife-crime. Working with schools in the Jewellery Quarter and Soho ward, the programme – based on a successful pilot held at Broadway Academy and refined through focus groups with young people from Birmingham and Wolverhampton – brings together drama, virtual-reality, craft-making, intensive mentoring, first-aid training and horizon-widening in a unique programme which encourages young people to think differently about their options.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The pilot project - run at a school in Aston - noticeably changed the lives of the participants, changing their behaviours and improving their engagement at school. Difficult conversations became easier to have, thanks to the presence of community mentors, and a visit to the School of Jewellery to make part of the work there opened their eyes to the city beyond Aston and the opportunities in the wider city. Based in solid educational principles, this project is not just talking about a problem: it is about giving young people the tools and opportunities to think deeply about their community and encourages them to make creative decisions and informed choices. The exhibitions which will be held in the schools at the end of each intervention become a focal point for celebration of community.
Steps to get it done:
Indicative programme: 1) Young people are invited by the schools to join the programme; 2) Introduction – drama/virtual reality shared experience delivered by Round Midnight; 3) Discussion/mentoring – young people are encouraged to share their experiences of knife crime and to record their experiences; consider how these experiences can be mediated; 4) Mentoring/First-aid – having considered the impacts of knife crime on their lives (or potential impacts), young people are given practical advice and guidance on emergency first-aid responses; 5) Mentoring/Making – working with the mentors, participants are given materials with which to make jewellery objects which illustrate their thoughts and feelings around the subject; 6) Horizon-Widening/Making – participants work at the School of Jewellery to complete their work and for an educational and making experience; 7) Celebration – participants and the community get together to view the exhibition.
About the space
Birmingham City Council