Monday, 27 October 2014

Shake! Showcase no.5: #HeadSpace Reviews

Last Tuesday, October 7th, the Shake! family took over the stage at Rich Mix for the Shake! Showcase no.5, hosted by our friends at Numbi. We saw shakers performing powerful pieces of poetry and music, and presenting the new short doc 'Education?' to a packed audience.  Since then we've received a great amount of messages from people who came to see the show -both long-time supporters as well as new Shake fans- and from participants themselves, sharing their experience of the Showcase.

We were so happy to receive such warm messages of support that we thought we should share some with you!

"Awesome showcase from the incredibly talented young people of Shake.  Any youth workers and educators that work with young people interested in social change and expressing themselves creatively-contact Shake-" Abbie 

"Had such an awesome time at the Shake showcase tonight"- Maria

"Last night was so enjoyable... I have to congratulate you and the team on such a well thought out and certainly important show it was to witness. Thank you!!" Jermaine

Friday, 10 October 2014

Shake Showcase #5 @ Rich Mix London

The blue Shake! banners pinned to the walls, clipboards and notes flurrying about, groups of Shake! participants deep in concentration rehearsing their lines on stage or tucked away in corners,  sound-checks, mic-checks, warm embraces to old Shake friends being made.. it’s that time again…

On Tuesday 7th October we hosted our 5th Shake! Showcase at Rich Mix London.  Teaming up with our family at NUMBI, the show was based on the August Shake! Intensive Course, “HeadSpace”, and shakers came from far and wide to perform their art and share their political insight and ideas with the public.

During the course in August, the participants used a variety of poetic, musical and filmic tools to dig deep and critically respond to the central theme of “HeadSpace”. Having created a wealth of original artistic work,  the showcase offers an extension to the week of radical learning, and gives a platform where the participants can express their creativity to an audience.

The hosts Cizz, Tasnima & Edwina 
Performing to a full house, our hosts Cizz, Tasnima and Edwina took us on a journey through poetic lyricism, thoughtful rhymes, sweet melodies, and engaging documentary film. Shakers old and new performed, extending the family and widening our community.

Young people that had never been on stage before bravely stood in the spotlight and read their poetry to the 160 people in the audience, followed by a loud chorus of heart-felt applause each time.  Young people that had never made a film before premiered their documentary, followed by a professional panel discussion and Q & A with the filmmakers and audience.  

In conversation with the filmmakers 

The dynamic mixture of performances and contagiously good vibes and spirit meant that the show was funny, thought-provoking, inspiring, and deeply profound – with all of the work reaching an incredibly high-standard. Everybody left with a huge smile on their faces, buzzing with energy and positivity. 

The showcase not only gives the participants a chance to exhibit their creative work, it also serves as an opportunity to engage the public in the social and environmental issues covered at the Shake! Course, and uniquely, from a youth voice. The spectators get the chance to view these topics through the Shake! lens of art,
Spoken word by Mujtaba Ahmed
   media, race and power – which opens up new    ways of seeing and understanding to more and more people. 

The effectiveness of the show can be summed up by the way one girl came up to me at the end of the performances and said “you’re definitely gonna see me up there next time...” She, like many others there, had caught the Shake bug.

Watch out for Shake! Showcase #6…. You really don’t want to miss it.

Saara J-R

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Shake! well-being skills pool: Top tips for surviving the system

Here are some of the Shake!r's top tips for countering and surviving the system:

The importance of finding and defining community, and the coming together of like-minded people through ideas.

co-operation = good!
oppressing your friends = not so good...

We must maintain awareness that there is a dominant narrative, and question whose interest it serves to maintain the status quo and accept norms and existing power structures… And then, we must challenge these! For instance, through:
-> music
-> youth work
-> alternative education
-> graffiti
-> group facilitation
-> the internet (non mainstream media)
-> independent film
-> things like SHAKE!
Check out Orla's poem
combating gender marketing from a young age:
'just for humans'
Despite what the education system tells us, knowledge is not always gained through written word. Education is in the experience; you can't just go somewhere to 'get educated.' Check out the trailer for the short film soon to be released, co-created by some of the Shake!rs and NuWave Pictures:

Finding ways to stay strong and remain positive. Annie Rockson shared with us a helpful tool from her new book for combatting stress:

Step one, work out the root of your stress:
1. Emotional (how you feel) - scared, sad, etc
2. Behavioural (how you behave) - addiction, procrastination, etc
3. Environmental (your surroundings) - family, work, friends, etc
 4. Physical (bodily) - bad diet, poor posture, lack of exercise etc

Step two, work out why you feel like this:
1. What is the perceived stress?

Then, you must choose the course of action most suitable for the occasion:
                               Fight, or flight! 

   (or find some other Shake!rs for a group hug…hugs are always good)
The importance of reclaiming inaccessible spaces and creating safe spaces. Spaces have memory: they are more than a material construct, they have spirit and we must challenge the removal of community spaces. Here's a poem by Zena doing just that:

And last, but most certainly not least, we must - unite, resist and stay resilient!