Young Parents Speak Out

Dame Clare Tickell met young parents from Ashington in Northumberland and Barrow in Furness, Cumbria  at the opening of an exhibition of their work produced for the WE ARE HERE project at the 12 Star Gallery, Europe House, Smith Square, Westminster, London.  Working with Media19 they have produced their own short films that reflect on their experiences as teenage mums and the challenges they face. Their work is being shown alongside that produced for the project from Serbia and Hungary.

Journalist Jonathan Fryer wrote:   The 12 Star Gallery at the European Commission’s London representation in London this lunchtime played host to a group of young single mums from Cumbria and Northumberland for the launch of a photographic exhibition that is part of a project connected to the 2010 European Year of Poverty and Social Exclusion. The idea of the scheme was that young people across Europe should be able to work with artists, photographers and film-makers and speak out about their lives and the problems they face, so they can influence public opinion and policy. There were some particularly striking photos and captions from Roma and other marginalised groups in Hungary, Italy and Serbia, but the English Northern young mums were best represented in short films of them and their infants, talking to camera about their feelings and experiences.

As Dame Clare Tickell, CEO of Action for Children, commented, ‘This powerful project gives young people the skills to create and share imaginative, honest and meaningful visual messages. They help us all to understand the issues affecting their lives and to learn from their experiences.’ The films will be broadcast on the Community Channel on 21, 24 and 27 February and the exhibition will remain at the 12 Star Gallery at 32, Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU until 25 February.

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