Cultural Warriors seeks to inspire young people to fight for social transformation through art and culture. This collaborative project aims to build each partner’s capacity for supporting young people in being active and innovative participants in bringing about change in their communities.
Cultural Warriors is a three-year youth leadership collaboration between People’s Palace Projects; Grupo Cultural AfroReggae; Contact Manchester; Theatre Royal Stratford East; SouthBank Centre; Lawnmowers Theatre Company; The Sage Gateshead; and Playing On (a theatre company based at the Roundhouse in London).
This project draws on the expertise and experiences of cultural organizations in Brazil to enable knowledge sharing and extend the horizons of the young people accessing the project. AfroReggae has a clear goal to offer a cultural and artistic environment that can provide an opportunity for young people to build positive social engagements that resist the gang and drug culture of their communities. Each of the project’s UK partners has developed distinctive programmes to develop young people as leaders and facilitators, with a commitment to exploring the power of art to effect individual and social change.
In addition to the distinct aims of each partner’s youth leadership programmes, the shared aims of Cultural Warriors are:
- To offer young people involved in each organisation’s leadership programme the inspiration, changed perspectives, extended horizons and transformational impact of a direct relationship with AfroReggae.
- To extend the learning, practice, ambition and reach of the main institutional partners and the professional teams involved, by sharing distinct approaches and their responses to the inspiration offered by each other’s practices
- Through workshops with AfroReggae, to support the skills development of the young people in particular areas such as conflict mediation or leadership if appropriate
- To extend young people’s learning, personal development and networks of experience through national and international exchanges
- To introduce AfroReggae to UK approaches to stimulating youth activism and autonomy through the arts
- To share resources and fundraising to bring AfroReggae to work with the young people and the partners involved
- To bring together a body of practice that uses the arts to develop young people’s capacities to bring about change within their communities
- To document and offer the programme’s learning more widely, through discussion based events, the young people’s own advocacy of their experiences, the partners’ advocacy, and web-based documentation
“I feel excited and scared at the same time – it’s brilliant” (Sage Gateshead Cultural Warrior)
“I feel more driven to turn any ideas I may have into a reality” (Southbank Centre Cultural Warrior)
“It’s amazing and brilliant and makes me happy” (Lawnmowers Cultural Warrior)
“I feel excited and inspired! It is an honour to be on Cultural Warriors” (Manchester Cultural Warrior)
“It is amazing seeing what everyone can do, I can’t wait to start my project” (South Bank Centre Cultural Warrior)
“Being part of a wider network makes me feel more supported” (Playing On Cultural Warrior)