The Barking and Dagenham Young People's Makerspace 2019

From art protest to the imminent digital future, this Young People’s Makerspace shone the spotlight on what it means to be a young person today.

The Barking and Dagenham Young People's Makerspace 2019

Featuring arts collective Studio3 Arts, a panel of arts professionals and ourselves at Voice, this Young People’s Makerspace was set to enliven and inspire the children and young people of Barking and Dagenham.  

This Makerspace kicked off by urging the young generation of today to push for creativity in all aspects of life. Studio3 Arts proved the radical potential and worth of creativity by encouraging all the room to immerse themselves in art protest. 

From primary school children to those attending sixth form college, everyone got involved with this workshop to protest our right to pursue creativity. Chants such as “more creativity, less negativity” accompanied vibrant protest placards created by the attendees. Focussing on the creative potential nurtured by this London borough, Studio3 Arts inspired young people to realise their ability to unlock that potential and use it to make a tangible change.

7d6c459b72b7023238e437329dca1331f04b39db.jpgFollowing on from this activity was a panel discussion surrounding the future. From creative careers to digital technology and the convergence between STEM subjects and the arts, these industry professionals lent a real-world insight into the jobs the next generation could hold. 

Staff from Barking and Dagenham's Secret Cinema, an innovative scheme that unfolds the stories behind some of our favourite movies, brought insight into the nature of arts careers. Not only did this illustrate a central facet of Barking and Dagenham’s arts scene, it also served to prove the diverse array of jobs available in the creative sector. 

To exemplify the shifts that are taking place within cultural careers, Frazer Merrick from Teaboy games demonstrated how jobs in the arts sector can combine, converge and cover a plethora of careers. As a Music graduate now working at a games company, Fazer asked the young people to think about absurd career jumps, such as someone who trained as a Sound Technician and is now making a living as a sculptor. 


The third section of the Young People's Makerspace was led by none other than ourselves at Voice. We encouraged young people to express their opinions and know the ultimate worth and value of their voices. 

Highlighting current cultural issues such as Votes at 16 and Climate Change, young people identified issues pertinent to themselves as residents of Barking and Dagenham and created resolutions to solve such problems. 

Next up - representing the Barking and Dagenham youth community, budding Film Director Iman Choudhury explained his route into Film. As the keynote speaker of this event, Iman's message was both practical and inspiring. 

He encouraged attendees to keep dreaming alongside giving tangible advice. Tips such as the importance of pursuing work experience and networking helped the audience understand more about how to kick-start their creative careers. Iman is an aspiring Film Director whose one week of work experience on the Marvel earned him a job as Production Assistant; as such, his career in the arts clearly struck with the attendees at the Makerspace.

f0c039c8b5e1e3f12aa68f6ed52141ff324f3434.pngLast but not least, the Makerspace rounded off with performances from the artistic talent in the room. Firstly, Kiera who came second in Voice Kids UK, was accompanied by the Dagenham Park School band.

The young artists at Studio 3 captured the attendees with a plethora of performances. Firstly, a solo dance, followed by a solo singer, and lastly a group dance medley. The impact of art being exhibited within the room to conclude an inspiring event helped to energise and enthuse attendees. 

After the success of the Young People’s Makerspace came the CEP Event, in which speakers highlighted the potential of creative partnerships between arts organisations, charities and schools which all have the ability to made a positive change in the lives of young people today. 

An ongoing partnership between Sydney Russell school in Barking and Dagenham, Barbican Centre and the Guildhall School demonstrated this perfectly, with Young Ambassadors from the school reciting poetry and spoken word to illustrate how the partnership has impacted their own lives. 

An inspirational day covering a whole range of topics within the arts, this Barking and Dagenham Makerspace stimulated minds and encouraged opinions, contributing to a healthy cultural scene in the London borough. 'Til next time!


Sienna James

Sienna James Voice Team

Formerly Assistant Editor, Sienna now studies History of Art at the University of Cambridge and loves to write about the intersection of politics, history and visual art. Sienna is author of the Creative Education and Instaviews series.

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