Creativity is one of the joys of life!

CAN Young Artists were inspired by the idea of freedom this Summer

21 September 2022

CAN welcomed young people with asylum seeker or refugee heritage who have roots in Iran, Sudan, Kuwait, Syria, Nigeria, and Ukraine to Nexus Café in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

Over three weeks in August, the group developed their skills and confidence in visual arts, dance, movement music, singing and drumming to explore the themes of Freedom and the Joy of life. The group worked with four artists, Andy Boothman, Godfrey Pambalipe, Kate Bradnam and Jessica Mallard, who supported the group to learn and grow skills and build their confidence. Together they created the amazing film ‘Sparks of Light’.

You can also check out the beautiful pictures from the project here.

 “I like everything about this project.”

“I like everything, dance, meeting my friends.”

“It’s good, it gives skill for singing and dance.”

It was inspiring to see the achievements of a group of young people, many of whom had never taken part in arts activities before. Many of the group had never met previously, and the project was an excellent way for young people to make new friendships.

“Meet new friends, everyone enjoyed it.”

“We don’t feel shy.”     

The CAN Young Artists welcomed their families – mums, dads, brothers and sisters – and friends to a final sharing on 17 August 2022. The sharing featured six pieces of work, including music, songwriting, performance, expressive movement, collage, and visual arts.

Before the doors opened to all the audience, some family and friends helped decorate the space and set up the room for a celebratory meal. Some mums created beautiful embroidery using creative traditions from Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan on the visual arts pieces the group had made.

“The way you speak with people and how everything is so beautiful and nice. “

“Iman is very happy in the project. She likes design and painting.”

Words of some of the young people’s mums

The audience watched the performance, met new people, took photographs, and posted on social media. Young people, the audience, special guests, and artists shared delicious food from the Northern Quarter’s Yadgar takeaway to celebrate the programme and the young people’s achievements.

“Thank you for giving us comfort and a smile. Thank you very much.”

Photos: Shirlaine Forrest 




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