On 8th July in West Lulworth the launch took place of the full length documentary film about the Seen But Seldom Heard project, plus live performances from the young poetry sensations from Victoria Education Centre.
The Seen But Seldom Heard project is a joint venture between the Media School and the School of Health and Social Care (HSC), involving Carrie Hodges from the Media School and Wendy Cutts and Lee-Ann Fenge from HSC. The project has been made possible, so far, thanks to funding from BU including the BU Fusion funding and Aim Higher with BU. It has used performance poetry as a methodology to engage young disabled people to explore issues related to disability, and has been led by two performance poets, Liv Torc and Jonny Fluffypunk. A number of live performances have taken place over the past year as a method of disseminating the outputs from the project including performances as part of the Cultural Olympiad in Weymouth 2012, the Bridport Literary Festival, and at Bournemouth University.
The Seen But Seldom Heard film follows the development of the project from the early sessions with the young people at Victoria Education Centre and some of their live performances. It is hoped that the full length documentary will be a powerful tool to disseminate the outputs from the project in a way which engages audiences to think differently about disability.
The launch of the film on 8th July was accompanied by some striking performances from the young people taking part in the project, including performance poetry, stand-up comedy, song and animation. It was a poignant event, as many of the young people who have been part of the project are now moving on from Victoria Education Centre, and this was their last performance as a group together. A lasting legacy of the project is that many of these young people are continuing to write and perform their own work.
There were very positive responses from the audience who were both challenged and moved by the performances. Performative methods of research dissemination can be very powerful tools which can potentially reach larger audiences than traditional paper based dissemination.
The project has received funding for 2013-14 to enable work with Victoria Education Centre to continue, and it is also hoped to developed projects with other seldom heard groups.
Further details about the project can be found here.