I Am Festival 2023 Highlights - Week Three

From creative banner making to singing, chanting and shaking tambourines & maracas at the Southbank all in the third week of I Am Festival

9 June 2023

Can you believe it’s week 3 already?! After a break to enjoy the sunny half term, we have been busy this week with exciting activities taking place in various locations across the city.

We kicked the week off by announcing the winner of our protest song competition. The entries were judged by musician Jess Fisher from Digit Music who had a tough time choosing between the brilliant entries. But the winner is... *drum roll* ICKBURGH SCHOOL! The students at Ickburgh created a brilliant chorus for our protest song which really expressed how they were feeling. Beatrice Tate School also came up with a brilliant idea for a verse for our protest song which we loved so much, we also included it! The lyrics and sound recordings of the protest song can be found in our Get Creative Tent - have a listen and send us your own version!

Down in Bromley, Marjorie McClure School have been having bundles of fun with Greener and Cleaner Hub exploring activism through upcycling clothes. Over two workshops, students printed, drew, and cut to create fantastic T-shirts which will be displayed in a fashion show to local schools. The students loved these workshops so much, they’re thinking of setting up their own club to share the skills they learnt with other students across the school!

Thursday was the busiest day of the festival so far with two exciting events taking place.

Making Sensory Banners at Watergate School
(c) Making Sensory Banners at Watergate School

In North London, professionals working with Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent young people gathered in the beautiful Jacksons Lane Arts Centre to explore voice, empowerment and visibility through movement and dance. Juliet Diener from icandance led a fantastic workshop focusing on Through video, we heard from some of their brilliant Young Ambassadors about how dance can be used as a tool for empowerment and reflected on the importance of being led by our students and young people. Some key takeaways that I had from our time together were:

  • Give time for students to arrive both physically and emotionally into the space. Let them check into their own body before asking them to connect with others.
  • Props in a dance and movement space should always have a purpose – really consider why you are using them.
  • When creating through movement, ask yourself “Whose vision is this?”. Be reactive to what movement occurs in the room, particularly by those who may not communicate verbally.
  • Have a frame to a workshop with a clear beginning and end but let what happens within that frame happen. Be flexible.
  • You can change the world through joy!

A huge thank you to Juliet for leading such a beautiful workshop! You can find out more about icandance's work on their website.

Making Sensory Banners at Watergate School
Watergate student making sensory banner

Across London, on the Southbank, students from Watergate and Cherry Garden schools teamed up to be seen and heard. After creating sensory banners before the half-term break, the two schools and their families came together at Royal Festival Hall for a march and picnic. Singing, chanting, banging tambourines and shaking maracas, the children made lots of noise - their slogan ‘See Me! Hear Me!’ was most certainly realised!

See Me! Hear Me! Cherry Garden and Watergate  School (2).jpg
Student from Watergate/Cherry Garden school at Southgate parade with tamborine

Coming Up:

Next week is the final week of I Am Festival 2023.

We’re looking forward to going to Shenstone School to see their I Am Me Parade and Exhibition.

We also can’t wait for a virtual panel discussion on Tuesday 13th June exploring how the cultural sector can make activism more accessible for Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent young people. We will be joined by Graeae Theatre Company, poet and songwriter Miss Jacqui and a brilliant teacher from our I Am network.

You can find more details about this event on our website. We can’t wait to see you there!