With the Physical Fellowship taking place in less than a month it won’t surprise you that the young people at Sprungsters have been hard at work during phase two of their project devising their headline performance Seen But Never Heard. But what you might not realise is that work on this project has involved many different partners…
Seen But Never Heard started life in response to a national call out for young people to take part in social action. Taking part in campaigns, volunteering opportunities and fundraising that makes a significant contribution to local communities. With funding from the #iwill campaign and the Heart of England Community Foundation we set about delivering a series of taster session to recruit a group of nearly fifty young people all with a passion to use their voice to make a difference. To achieve this, the #iwill campaign communicates with, connects and challenges organisations across the UK so that they embed support for youth social action into their culture and practice.Taking small positive actions to make a difference at home, at school or in their local community.
Sprungsters are used to making work that means something but this year they have taken it one giant leap further and chose to actively engage in a local cause and use their performance to campaign on behalf of this cause. The group identified Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre as the cause for their campaign and have now been working for nearly 6 months to better understand and connect with the centre.
During phase two of the project they have also set a very ambitious fundraising target to contribute to the Coventry Refugee and Migrant’s Destitution fund between now and Autumn this year. They will be delivering an activities morning for children, running film nights, sleeping rough and taking the ration challenge to live for a week on the same food rations as a Syrian refugee. In this way they hope to make a difference to those seeking sanctuary in our city and will raise their own voices to speak out against the stigma and abuse that newly arriving families often experience.
Seen But Never Heard has been inspired by the Fly the Flag project, celebrating 70 years since the signing of the declaration of human rights. Working with City of Culture 2021 Seen But Never Hear will fly the flag for human rights as part of this year’s Physical Fellowship Festival and will feature alongside 11 other performances devised by young people working with Highly Sprung all exploring different aspects and articles of the declaration of Human Rights.
The festival is an important platform for young people to explore significant themes through physical performance and this year is proud to fly the flag for human rights, performances explore our right to be free, to be ourselves, to be safe and to be loved. Tackling stories looking at oppression at work, slavery, our right to be educated and our right to an opinion regardless of race, gender or any other defining characteristic.
Seen But Never Heard has taken its inspiration from the incredible stories of refugees arriving in Coventry and the often-traumatic journeys they have taken to arrive here.
The performance charts the journey of a young girl left abandoned by war and saved by brave people who make difficult choices to help her to freedom. A story of the voiceless and the power we have to make change. A reflection on human rights and crossing borders to find peace.
“Birds migrate just like us and their journey is long too, but unlike us, they don’t worry about the borders they cross. Maybe one day, like the birds, we will all find a new home. A home where we can be safe and begin our story again.”
More than that Seen But Never Heard asks audiences to consider their own role in supporting newly arrived people:
“Let’s not bury our heads in the sand. Let us take action; not by looking down and accepting how things have been but looking to the skies and thinking what could be.”
We are very proud of the achievements of this motivated and determined group of young people and very much look forward to seeing the impact of their powerful performance on audiences as part of the Physical Fellowship.
Tickets now on sale:
The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry