People often talk about reaching out to the youth, usually about how difficult it is.
Changing people’s behaviour is always difficult, and the metaphor of ‘reaching out’ implies that you’re reaching out to lasso people and pull them where you want them to be.
If people really wanted to communicate with young people, I’d think they might consider going out to where young people hang out rather than trying to convince them to hang out elsewhere.
That might sound weird coming from someone who works at The Edge, a project based on building a super-cool space for young people to go to, and maybe it is.
But we’re also doing projects like the 2700 Second Challenge.
In late April and early May, a group of young people who hang out in the Brisbane CBD will spend 2700 seconds—or 45 minutes—working on a project of their choosing.
In 45 minutes, they will conceptualise, plan and complete their project against the backdrop of King George Square by themselves or in small groups.
Working with our first international Resident, mervin Jarman, they will be given project instructions, digital and physical resources, and examples of finished projects.
A tutor will be there the whole time to help with technical or other difficulties but mostly the projects will be self-directed, self-paced and participants will be encouraged to solve their own problems and assist each other.
mervin will be facilitating two of these workshops while he’s in Brisbane as an extension of Brisbane Youth Service’s and Visible Ink’s theatre-based Acting Out project.
By taking this project to where young people choose to be already, and building on the success of Acting Out and mervin’s internationally acclaimed projects, we’re hoping The Edge will pique the interest of workshop participants in the diversity of things they can do by combining technology with their natural creativity.
The idea is to expand people’s horizons, give them the confidence that they can complete a worthwhile project, foster new skills, and introduce them to cool people like mervin and Edge Catalysts.
We also hope that participants will walk away from the 2700 Second Challenge with a creative outcome that has cred with their friends and family, like wearable art, completed videos online, a music track they’ve written and performed.
About Acting Out
Over the last 12 months BYS and Vis Ink have partnered to deliver the very successful Acting Out project with at risk young people in King George Square.
Acting Out is a series of weekly safe, engaging drama activities in neutral public space. The secret to the success of Acting Out program has been the short, engaging, low-risk activities. They’re low-risk because participants are confident that they are not going to be embarrassed or pressured into doing something they don’t want to do.