I am on the train home after an epic 3 days in Hull for the last Oasis Social Club of 2015 and boy I cannot wait to get working on it again in 2016. Hull was slightly different to the others as we were based in a youth centre but the same as the others as we were right in the middle of a community.
I have been working with young people in all different contexts for close to a decade now. This was probably one of the toughest experiences so far. All the tools in my creative basket were used and thrown back in my face. But a thick skin, strong team and an awareness that everything thrown at us was not about me or them- its much much deeper than that- got me through it.
Tears now coming into my eyes. I just feel there is such an injustice in the world and I am so angry at our government. They play with the minds of the innocent and vulnerable. Their campaigns filled with empty promises- leaving people feeling helpless and angry. They don’t inspire the people who rely on them the most to vote or feel that they deserve a say in how the country is led, let alone their own community.
I’ve left Hull with a feeling of frustration, not for me but for the young people we were working with. The choices they feel they have to make in order to survive breaks my heart. They are projecting a reality of a world that lets them behave the way they want to because they feel they aren’t listened to and that they don’t matter.
This project (TOSC) has meant the world to me. Not only have I been able to work with 4 amazing people Morven Mulgrew, Rebecca Davies, Simone Kenyon and Sam Trotman but it has been the project that has opened my eyes up to politics and given me a true understanding of where I stand and what my views are in the world. I suppose I used to get drawn into media and went along with everything I was told.
My one hope for all these young people is that they find something in their lives that can take all their energy. Something that isn’t harmful to themselves or others. It doesn’t have to be the arts, although obvs I fucking can vouch for it, but something- anything.
I have not slept much the past few days thinking about these kids. When will it end, This cycle of destruction. Self destruction. The government has so much to answer for. I feel so helpless. Can I not just take them all home with me pleassseeee????