‘Where Are We Now?’ was an extra curricular project which I was the Artistic Director of, allowing cross curricular work to enhance creativity between the MUSIC, DANCE & ART Departments. This is something that has been stifled over the last 10 years with uptake in the Creative Subjects facing a crisis thanks to the EBACC and STEM subjects being given priority.
In July 2017 I gained funding to work with pupils at my school in creating a multi media music video, where music students create a music track, the dance department respond with choreography and the Art/ Photo department film and produce the visuals which were entered into the Barking & Dagenham Inspire festival this summer, 2018. I was able to invite Singer songwriter Lánre and Producer Taylor Burton from the Brighter Sounds 008 Artistic directors Series with Eska to write the music with pupils in a workshop in March 2018.
We then filmed in several locations across Barking & Dagenham to come up with this multi- disciplinary video, dance & music collaboration. The really interesting and ironic thing about this was that the pupils actually came up with the song title and theme, ‘Where Are We Now?’ ESKA’s original question ‘Are You Here?’ on the residency offered hope, but the question made by some of these pupils shows one of fear about their future but also of creative resilience. As a school in barking & Dagenham we have experienced our fair share of inner city violence such as acid attacks among kids and stabbings. The London Bridge bombing also deeply shook our community as the Manchester Arena bomb did to, and I believe this collaboration helped us create a sense of healing in collaboration also with a local primary school ,using music, dance and art to celebrate and enjoy life together. I hope the video helps pupils recognise the bad times but offers hope for the better , fun times
It would be amazing if you could take just 6 minutes of your day out to watch this collaboration we made. I really want to continue doing projects like this but we are facing a crisis in the Education system, lack of funding, overstretched resources and teachers means I may not physically be able to continue…but if we had a worthwhile platform for our voice and knew that the work was going to get a larger audience and give pupils a vision of themselves in the future working as artists, choreographers, musicians, then it would give us a great boost.
The video link is here: