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Unfolding Identities: BME Young People project
This project created a DVD learning resource in the form of a package of several short films, to facilitate engagement by school pupils in issues of cultural and racial diversity, belonging and identity. The concept of the project is to take the idea of a ‘call and response’ effect, taken from the traditions of West African music, where a musical phrase engages a connecting response.
The films have been made in a partnership project. Irene Mensah and Yaa Asare (university tutors and diversity trainers and consultants) have worked with two student film-makers (studying at the University of Brighton) and with Varndean School. The other essential partners in the project have been the young people themselves, three of whom are Varndean students and the other two who have been community contacts. Each young person features in their own short film.
A series of 5 films have been compiled as the basis for a teaching resource to be used in schools and with student teachers. The films, through the narratives of the young people who feature in them, explore the following themes,
- The importance of friendship in forming their identities
- Their relationships to Britain, to ‘Britishness’ and to their localities
- Their passions, what they enjoy, what they are skilled at, what they want to achieve
- Their relationship to their schools, their families and their communities
- Their quirks, their ‘differences’, what makes them unique
- How they see themselves and how they place their experiences in relation to cultural diversity
These 5 films as they now stand, are a valuable and topical resource in opening up discussions of diversity and in offering a young person’s perspective on the process of negotiating identity.
View the films
Teaching Support Manual
As a second stage to the project, Yaa and Irene developed a Teaching Support Manual to facilitate the issues raised to be explored effectively and coherently, both in schools and at university:
The Centre for Learning and Teaching, Cupp and the School of Education have funded the production of the films and the teaching support manual.