Spoken word is the new rap! Or at least it is in Basildon & Pitsea thanks to it's local young talent. Two months ago we took a handful of bright young people and gave them the opportunity to get involved in 'My Town'; a spoken word project centred on the community in which they lived. With an ensemble of literary tools learnt whilst on the course we explored both positive and negative community perceptions and opened the door to freedom of expression from the hubs of Basildon & Pitsea library. These young people had no previous experience in the art of spoken word, and reported to be short on confidence. Yet thanks to their enthusiasm and endeavour, and the skill set of our tutors, every person who took part was able flourish and contribute with individuality and continuity
The aim was to make the English language more appealing and accessible to young people. By referencing relevant issues and contemporary artists, and by introducing the participants to a studio environment we was able to modernise this area of education to achieve that aim. The synergistic relationships built during the course were truly remarkable to witness, and with certainty we can say that this project has been hugely transformational in both an educational and societal sense for all involved.
On January 4th 2016 the project drew to a close with a final presentation where the participants were given the latitude to speak their piece publicly in front of an audience of peers and family - which many of them did. The before and after contrast in confidence was fantastic to see, and the comments made from those who attended overwhelming to hear. Now that it’s over we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to ‘grants for the arts’ for funding the project, and to the Basildon and Pitsea library staff for being so accommodating. You can now read the pieces at Basildon library where they are currently being exhibited.
This has undoubtably been a successful project, our next step now is to make this an annual activity so keep a look out.