I Am Not My Box - Part One

Hello, Maya here! I’m an arts facilitator at Unique Community’s Brent Youth Theatre. This week we began our epic summer project! Across four weeks our young people will be exploring the borough of Brent, it’s history and what it means to be a young person living here. Alongside this we have a group of 16-18 year olds writing spoken word - exploring their identity in relation to Brent, how we can push stereotypes and confidently prove ‘I Am Not My Box’.

Our first week began by learning all about the formation of the Borough of Brent. However, this was no normal history lesson - we watched videos, played games, created characters, composed letters and devised scripts! Our new musician facilitator, Gustavo, helped the young people write a song that explored Wembley and Willesden’s upset at the formation of the new borough and the difficulty of finding a new name. The highlight this week has been writing the rap and trying to find rhyming words for umbrella and sophistication! See below to hear what we came up with and how we managed to fit it all into a sick beat!

Later in the week, The Younger Youth Theatre learnt some letter-writing inspired movement and the Youth Theatre developed characters, ensuring that they were the right class and had the best possible costumes! We were so impressed with the array of costumes and accents the young people created. Another highlight from the week was when we filmed the introduction to the film. Hearing everyone confidently state ‘I am not my box’ and all the languages the company could speak was incredible. We certainly have some intelligent and cultured young people!

Before we knew it, Thursday came around - filming day! It was so exciting to finally put everything together and get it all recorded. The talent and professionalism the young people showed was truly extraordinary (even when signal dropped out or we asked them to do it for the 5th time!)

Cut to 24hours later and (along with a lot of work from the staff) the film was ready! The young people, their families, friends and members of the public all gathered on Zoom to watch the first premiere. We were all so excited! The film received a fantastic response, with one audience member stating how brilliant the young actors were.

I have been blown away by the young people this week and I can’t wait to see what they create in Week 2. Come back here next week to hear all about it! But for the time being, I’m so delighted that we can share their talent with you so grab a drink or snack and follow the link below to watch the history of the formation of Brent like you've never seen it before…

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