Last week saw the start of a fabulous project, called Wee Shots. It involves one week of participatory film making with children and young people, in four different locations in the UK, a week and a minute worth of film on child poverty in the UK per location. The approach of the project is participatory, so the young people are in control of every decision in relation to what they film, how they film, how it's edited, making a total of 5 minutes of what child poverty means in the UK. The first week was in Glasgow, with the youngest group of children (8-11 year olds, with two young volunteers aged 13).
So on day 4 of the 5 intensive days, while one group of young people was out filming, the other had already been and was now working on a display about the activity. The display was completed in very little time and looked fabulous. I wasn't surprised, having worked with some of the young people before, I knew there was real arty talent present in the room. So we had time to spare. We thought it would be a good idea to send Gordon Brown a letter with a message of what this group of children thinks about the shocking levels of child poverty in the UK.
I suggested a good old traditional letter. However, this being participatory and children making the decisions, they told me a letter was boring and came up with a much better idea. A poem/song. It took the group 10 minutes to come up with this and no adult was involved in any way in the production apart from note taking:
Children living on the streets
Having no money and no treats
Ill living is so wrong
Listen to our little song
Do more about it, stop it now
Poverty is really bad and makes us really sad
Over and done with it should be
Very annoying to us you see
Everlasting is the key
Rough living shouldn't be
The time has come to make it end so this letter we decide to send
You can help us make it stop because you're at the very top