Monday, 23 December 2013

Paula on the 3 R's Re-imagining, Remembering, Reparations

Shake! intensive at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre
My name is Paula, I joined Shake! as a volunteer last August, and I have recently become part of the Shake! core team. Most of my work is around art and social change, be it as an artist, activist, or cultural manager. I am also, at the moment a research student at King's College London, working on the role of artistic performance within activism and social movements.

The following paragraphs present my reflections on how the words Remembering, Re-imagining and Reparations are already present in, and can be articulated into, our daily practices as artists, activists, and as members of our communities. These paragraphs also reflect how the ‘3 Rs’ are already part of what we do at Shake!, and how these concepts can allow us to think about what we do on different terms.

Monday, 9 December 2013

When Students Are The Teachers - Shakers are the Facilitators: Power Sharing

"Education as Freedom. 
Through dialogue, 
the teacher-of-the-students and the students-of-the-teacher (terminology) 
ceases to exist and a new term emerges: 
teacher-student with students-teachers...
The students — no longer docile listeners — 
are now critical co-investigators in dialogue with the teacher." 
- Paulo Friere 

 Shake! Mission Statement, Item No.4  
To unite the energy of artistic generations 
to creatively campaign on issues of race, 
power, environment and injustice 

I was very happy to finally have Shake! 's first ever Youth Led professional training session happen. And what a success it was. Previous Shake participants Adam Cooper, Khadiza Shahid and Selina Nwulu delivered their sessions with confidence, packed full of useful information and provocations for in-depth discussion.

What is important about these sessions is that those who attended were professional mentors, educators and facilitators who came along to hear what causes these young people are actively engaged in, why they chose them and how they, as the next  generation of activist, can inform the attendees understanding of the subject and their working practice.

Adam gave us amazing insight into our rights as citizens and as a young person when it comes to police stop and search. "Its about power, not so much about getting guns and knives off the street...just remember there is always a mirror question to the one the police ask you, so you can take back your power. For example, 'What's your name? I'm not obliged to answer that, but what's your police number? Where do you live? I'm not obliged to answer that but what's your station?... And it is 100% legal to record the stop and search. Record directly on to Ustream and it's recorded online so can't be deleted, even if they confiscated or smashed  phone."
Very very useful stuff.

Click the Shake! Twitter feed screen grabs  to enlarge.