21st Jan, 2022

Young people in Coventry partner with their global peers to improve their cities

YOUNG people in Coventry are joining forces with their global peers to help make their cities better places for them to live, work and play.

Coventry City of Culture Trust’s Youthful Cities programme is partnering young people in Coventry with people from four cities – Beirut (Lebanon), Bogotá (Colombia), Detroit (United States of America) and Nairobi (Kenya).

The programme is being produced in partnership with the British Council and Youthful Cities to enable 18 to 25-year-olds to creatively respond to important, urgent and youth-focused issues in their cities, encouraging more active participation in civic matters.

Alexandra Talbott, programme manager, International and Youthfulness, Coventry City of Culture said: “Young people are more connected than ever and the threads and synergies between these international projects harness and build on that to establish new international relationships.

“It’s a privilege to support these young creative teams to use their skill and ingenuity to share experiences.”

The four project teams are focused on different art forms.

The Coventry x Beirut Youthful Cities Programme Team is focussing on poetry and spoken word and is being led by Be a Change Everywhere (BACE), founded by poet John Bernard in Coventry, and Rusted Radishes of Literary and Art Journal in Beirut.

It includes 12 writers and artists who are writing a new creative piece ‘Transnational Lag Express’.

The Coventry x Detroit Youthful Cities Programme Team is being led by Media Mania (Coventry) and Mosaic Youth Theatre (Detroit) and is focussed on music.

It is a team of 10 young songwriters and musicians who are working towards the creation of a collaborative album.

The Coventry x Nairobi project is a Digital Storytelling Lab, which is a unique partnership between Coventry City of Culture Trust, British Council, The Space and BBC R&D.

The project team of 12 young creatives include filmmakers, digital artists, writers, musicians and changemakers from Coventry and Nairobi who are developing bold new digital stories that will reveal how a new generation of storytellers can inspire change within their cities.

The Coventry x Bogotá team is being led by Graffwerk and Jay McKeown (Coventry), and Vertigo Graffiti (Bogotá).

The project team, of 12 street artists and creatives, are working towards the creation of a new wall in FarGo village in September and a new wall in Bogotá in October.

Ellen Berry, the British Council’s director for England, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Coventry City of Culture on the Youthful Cities programme, helping amplify young people’s voices both in Coventry and across the world.

“This project supports our wider work in connecting young people to the UK for skills, networks and ideas.

“We look forward to seeing each of the projects develop, supporting Coventry’s international ambitions and showcasing the city on a global stage.”

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