OUTSIDE THE RING

This project combines boxing training, behavioural therapies, collective writing and film making to engage young people in collaborative research into experiences of violence amongst youth in Camden. Practising boxing techniques combined with writing sessions (exploring perceptions/beliefs about strength/ weakness) will lead to creating a short film raising consciousness of forms of violence.

Long summary
A series of 12 workshops with 20 young people (2 groups of 10, based in 2 areas within the borough of Camden), who will come together in the creation of a short film working with the format of a fight scene and aiming to raise awareness and share experiences of violence in Camden.
The program aims to develop tools for translating communal knowledge into thoughtful action and advocacy as well as to stimulate critical thinking and ability to identify and express forms of violence. We will facilitate investigation of practices of collective self-defence, particularly in relation to the pressures of gang culture and demands social media make to “join in” / conform.
A key aim is to create space and time, in collaboration with young people, to be creative, present, caring, thoughtful and socially conscious of Camden right here right now. Therefore we consider participants of the program as researchers working towards making a film raising consciousness of issues relating to violence, it follows that the young people will receive a fee for their contribution.
Elements
Boxing: a tool for self-defence, for thinking clearly in moments of high stress, for recognising and diffusing violent situations and preventing coercive behaviours before they escalate.
For reflecting upon perceptions of strength, weakness, failure, competition, systems of judgement and discrimination and forms of self-defence and self-destruction.
Writing: because you have something to say, because creative practices are practices of freedom. Our collective creative writing sessions use rational emotive behavioural therapy techniques to create space for reflection on our environment, the people around us and ourselves.
Film making: a way to bring people together in the creation of one piece of work that can be shared across networks. The creation of a simple fight scene narrative will be combined with texts generated during writing sessions that share experiences of violence and strategies for responding.
Issues Addressed:
This project addresses experiences of violence, something to which Camden is no stranger, last year it had the highest increase for rape crime (39%) in London, there’s a knife crime crisis, possession of weapons has been rising since 2012, this relates to the borough’s notorious illegal drugs market which goes hand-in-hand with gangs. This in turn leads to fearfulness
 

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