A group of young people in York whose voices are rarely heard are to star in a powerful new film as part of the city’s first Mediale festival.
The challenges, achievements and views of people leaving care will form the heart of The One Percent by award-winning social enterprise Inspired Youth.
A film created for the project will premiere during York Mediale this autumn.
And it is hoped this will spark an overdue debate about the treatment of some of our city’s most vulnerable people – and drive change.
Who are the One Percent?
The One Percent relates to a national statistic that around one percent of children are looked after by the care system – in York, this equates to around 200 children and young people. Another 50 have special guardianship or child arrangement orders.
This minority is often compared unfavourably to the remaining 99%, with statistics showing the one percent having lower academic achievement rates, and a higher incidence of criminal convictions and drug use.
Inspired Youth’s Kev Curran is leading on the project. He believes that these figures risk becoming self-fulfilling prophecies by putting limitations on what young people believe they can achieve.
Children end up in the care system through no fault of their own, and yet they are frequently identified as the most likely to fail.
They are used to being told what they can’t do, not being inspired to achieve what they can, and this can have a detrimental impact, sometimes in the long term.
– Kev Curran
Working with grime artist
Kev says that these young people aren’t always heard. “Sometimes, organisations working with young people in care say that they want to hear and share their views, but are reluctant to share them in an unedited, raw format.
“If we want effective improvement, it is crucial that decision makers do hear an undiluted version of their views, so this is what we’re setting out to do with The One Percent.”
Kev is working with York-based hip-hop / grime artist Kritikal Powers to encourage young people to share and express their experiences through video and music.
They will produce a film which will receive its premiere during York Mediale 2018.
“We want them to be open and honest, and music is a great way of reflecting on difficult experiences, and is a great vehicle to communicate what they have been through.”
Drive social change
Creating the film is the first part of the process to shine a light on these experiences. And the Inspired Youth team is delighted that it will be shown during the very first York Mediale.
“We hope that the completed film will start debate around the issues that it raises, with a view to making the transition to living as an independent young adult easier for some of the most vulnerable people in society,” says Kev.
Tom Higham, creative director of York Mediale 2018, is confident that projects like this will contribute to the legacy of the new festival.
“We believe The One Percent will test the boundaries of how media arts can be used to give a powerful voice to people who need it and to drive a campaign for change on social issues facing our communities today,” he said.