EMERGE(ncy) PARTY is a new initiative asking young people to imagine a better future through new creative ideas.

The current crisis has radically and abruptly flipped the world's of young people. They are being asked to make sense of cancelled exams, to accept that their teachers’ opinions will determine their futures, to cope with being separated from peer groups at a time in life when this is so fundamental, to live in close proximity to family at an age when independence is so important. And this is all a mere backdrop to the terrifying global battle between life and death; where their parents’ fears for their livelihoods and vulnerable relatives might, understandably, take precedence over the teenager’s stresses and anxieties.


Inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s work on the social meaning of disasters, EMERGE(ncy) PARTY puts the focus on the positives that can come out of crises and asks participants to think together about the ways in which the world could change for the better after COVID-19.


Part 1 of the project will take place over an initial 15 weeks.


Weekly online Zoom sessions will take the form of discussion and making workshops. Each session will include a check in about how participants are individually coping, a discussion around ideas for positive community action and a practical workshop on a particular art form leading to that week’s creative assignment.


Themes of these workshops will include: 


Personal Storytelling; Creative Limitations; Interviewing Techniques; Portraiture; Art as a Form of Protest; Community Art 


Creative assignments will include: 

Photography, soundscapes and field recordings, making and editing short films, journaling, writing, theatre making, song writing, painting and drawing, sending artwork in the post


Participants will be offered a mentor in an area of the arts they are interested in who will help guide their creative responses to the tasks.

We will host the young artist’s responses to assignments online as we go, so this website becomes an archive of their collective journey.





Once social distancing measures have been relaxed, Part 2 of the project will move offline. The young people will organise celebratory community gatherings where they will showcase or exhibit their creative journeys. They will be a chance for the young people to bring their local communities together again after isolation, reflect on their experiences and share their ideas for positive local initiatives moving forwards. They may involve, for example, a shared meal, hosted talks, performed readings or songs. 


We will give an update on Part 2 when we know more about when/how social distancing policies are being relaxed. It seems unlikely that large gatherings of people will be possible over the next year, so once the initial 15 weeks are up, we will explore how we can keep the project going in between Part 1 and Part 2.




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