The Megaphone Showcase: An insight to creative activism, presents artworks and resources created during or inspired by, the 6 week free online programme. The Megaphone programme taught young people the skills and gave them the confidence to find their place in activism, to amplify their voice and create change. This showcase reveals and addresses concerns by young people for young people:

“Activism is about challenging power and organising collectively for change.” – Ananya Wilson-Bhattacharya

“Activism stems from the powerful place where passion meets determination, where we strive for a better tomorrow. Activism is bottom-up. It starts with your voice. Never be afraid to speak – who knows, what you say next could change the world.” – Ellie Reeves 

“Activism is not an idea nor a myth. But a statement, an action, an intervention, a fight for what is right and expected. But most importantly it is an opportunity to inspire change’ – Olivia Horton

Activism is the action to encourage and bring about political and social change. It knows no boundaries; it is not restricted by time, geography, race, religion, age, sexuality or gender. It is a call to all, to take the action needed to make our world a better place.  – Jade Causton

“Activism should be about understanding your privileges, connecting to your community and making proactive positive change. Educate, disseminate and ******* destroy.” –  Callum Ritchie

ANANYA WILSON-BHATTACHARYA

Sing Louder than Hate and Sing Out, Ananya Bhattacharya, Digital collage, 2020

These badges represent various aspects of my activism and creative work, and how they overlap. The idea of making personal badges was inspired by Ian Brownlie’s Performative Activism workshop, which discussed creating one’s own activist symbols. I used a very simple graphic design app, Adobe Spark Post. Each of the badges includes a crossword featuring different forms of structural oppression to demonstrate the intersections between these, and the need to fight against them collectively in order to affect real structural change. The megaphones allude to protest but also tie in with the musical themes, as suggested by the phrase ‘sing out’ rather than ‘speak out’. In the first badge, the megaphone on the left represents the prevalence of various forms of oppression and the platform given to the right to voice hatred and reinforce such oppression. Conversely, the megaphone on the right emerges from the text along the bottom, ‘Sing louder than hate’ to suggest the power of musicians to challenge these oppressive voices from below, standing alongside the marginalised, or as marginalised people themselves. I added in the instruments to enhance this idea of resistance through music, perhaps suggesting a band or an ensemble. As a singer-songwriter and an activist, I’m often inspired by protest music and music with political themes. I wanted to create badges for musicians taking a stand, in the vein of the ‘folk against fascism’ badges and signs I’d sometimes seen on musicians’ guitar cases (this particularly inspired me to include the guitar in there). The badges are a tribute to the long history of musicians taking part in and shaping protest movements and fights for justice over the decades, and a call for this musical resistance to continue.

ELLIE REEVES

The Red Bender, period poverty protest materials

The cartoons are my imagined mascots for a period poverty fundraiser showcase featuring music, poetry and hideously embarrassing period stories to brighten our evening. I wanted to inject some humour into a serious issue after the legal success in Scotland around accessing free period products. The fundraiser would be called ‘The Red Bender’. The banner took inspiration from Genevieve Rudd’s Craftivism workshop, as well as flags and posters at physical protest marches. It’s a period poverty protest banner.

OLIVIA HORTON

Untitled, Olivia Horton, Graphic Design, 2020

I wanted to create something simple yet informative, that could be easily understood. Bringing awareness to the impacts that prejudice can have on an individual and just how easy it is to be misinformed, about what prejudice truly is. I myself do not have to suffer. But there are those out there who do. In the modernised world of technology and social media, it is clear that hatred is widespread and can be spread like a disease in a matter of seconds with misjudgement . However despite the hate or retaliation, there are always those you fight to make a change. A change for the better in society. And a change to create unity in such a divided world.

CALLUM RITCHIE

Engurland & The emotions that they serve, there’s confidence, serenity, surprise, amusement and love, Callum Ritchie,digital collage,2020 

Engurland responds to the idea of Britishness as constrained to the pedestrian form. It should make people consider the everyday values this country traditionally holds dear or are complicit to as contrasted to the accountability that might be attached to those values. I’ve also designed a series of candlestick holders cast in bronze called The emotions that they serve, there’s confidence, serenity, surprise, amusement and love… This forms a component part of an experimental sensory product designed for emotional understanding and mood elevation in autistic users. The product also features candles and playlists tailored to each emotion. This research project was a collaboration with my autistic brother.

 

RUBY PINNER

Happy Christmas? Wellbeing Baubles, Ruby Pinner, Ribbon, Thread, Polymer Clay,2020

I created these Christmas decorations based around workshops on craftivism and the use of slogans in performative activism. Throughout Megaphone and in my own creative activism, I’ve been really interested in opening up conversations about mental health; how important it is to talk about what is going on in our heads and to to ask people how they are doing. I wanted to portray the idea that any time is the right time to seek out help and to help others that we feel might be struggling, Christmas time included. This Christmas will be particularly different for everyone and I thought that these would be a good reminder amongst the tinsel, minced pies and madness, to check in with each other! These baubles are made using recycled ribbon, thread and leftover pieces of polymer clay from previous projects, so this was a little bit of creative upcycling too.

SUPPORT US

Young Norfolk Arts Trust is a charity which uses all its income to provide life changing opportunities for young people across Norfolk. Every project and activity is offered to children and young people for free, including our yearly festival programme. Support us by donating what you can…