Past Belfast Exchange Gallery Exhibition
Various - 23 November to 7 December 2012
Mervyn Smyth, the Belfast Exposed Workshop Co-ordinator, has been working closely with a group of young people on the Streets Ahead project, based in the Old Warren/Hilden/Maze Lisburn areas.
The project enabled all people in the area to work together using photography as a medium and opened dialogue contributing to good community relations, community safety and pride.
As a result of attending a public discussion with a number of key political commentators, the workshop participants created texts to accompany an image that they took.
Streets Ahead recognizes the need for young people to have an opportunity to have their voices heard and the texts and images address issues/observations about things in their own community that they would like to discuss.
The exhibition included contributions by Chandler, Chris, Danielle, Dean, Janna, Jason, Natalie, Kymberley, Nathan, Leah, Rachel, Blake and Shannon.
Janna – ‘This project/youth group has helped me gain a number of important qualifications which I will need for my career. Because we are now getting a new youth building built for us it will also help to keep young people and people of all ages off the street and help the community as a whole to progress forward. There are also many activities that people of my age group are taking part in which gives us something to do, as you will find there is nothing else for us to do. It helps us with teamwork and diversity, which I think is brilliant due to the economy we live in today. I would like to thank all my youth leaders for helping me and my companions. This youth project also helped me to speak up in front of politicians and be the voice of the young people. This helped me gain confidence and I felt better within myself after speaking to them. They gave me very positive feedback which gave me a positive mind for the future.’