EMERGE(ncy) PARTY is a new company 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 have been 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 parents and carers’ 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.


Part 1 of the project took place between April and August 2020.


Weekly online Zoom sessions took the form of discussion and making workshops. Each session included 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 included: 


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


Creative assignments included: 


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



Part 2 of the project moves offline and into real life arts venues. Supported by Connie Treeves (Associate Artist, Good Chance Theatre), we will run 40 hours of workshops over the next 3 months with young people who find it difficult to access the arts. 


A small group of young people who we feel would benefit from deep engagement with us, will have the chance to take over currently disused theatre spaces. They will work with directors and designers to devise a series of intimate performances between a young person and an adult audience member, inspired by the creative tasks from our workshops. After seeing how a young person is capable of really listening to an adult, the adults will be asked to really listen to a young person.  



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