CAN Young Artists explored their identities through our project Voices of the City

Our latest project for young people took place in October and November 2023

The group took photographs working with Shirlaine Forrest and created moving image from representations of their names, lines from their favourite songs and 2D collages they made.

Working with Julia Wilson, freelance Drama Facilitator and Director, the group also explored physical theatre techniques and character development, used costumes and props – kindly shared with us by Hope Mill Theatre under their Community Rates Prop Scheme – and took part in drama games to build a cohesive group.

Young people taking part were joined by four mums and a dad to add a multi-generational flavour to the project.

There has been lots of laughter and fun throughout the sessions. You can see more photographs from the project on our Flickr album here.

“The people and the group were very friendly.”

“It was a new experience!”

“Happy with all the activity”

“Very, very good”

“I enjoyed everything!”

One of the aims of our projects for young people and children is building connections between young people from different cultures and from different Manchester postcodes. The group was made up of young people with a heritage rooted in Kuwait, Iran, Syria, Eritrea, Sudan, and Egypt as well as the city’s diverse host communities.

“We are becoming a group!”

“Thank you for the project because I’ve met other people who speak other languages.”

“Group is very nice!”

Three students from the Make-up and Artistry department of UCEN – Katie Parker, Kim Craven and Brianne Cowley-Pitts – joined the group teaching make-up techniques which added a new creative dimension to the projects, particularly to the photography element.

The project saw core CAN Young Artists who’ve worked with us over the years joined by new members recruited through outreach.

If you work with young people and want to refer young people, please contact us and we can share new opportunities with you.

Please email Michelle Udogu, CAN’s Creative Producer for Children and Young People, at or phone 07561 664130

Photography: Shirlaine Forrest.

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