A team of six young people from across the Liverpool City Region have come together to form the Knowsley Young Producers.
Following a call out earlier in the year, the group have come together to develop their skills and enhance their experience in the planning and delivery of cultural events.
Working from the Culture Hub, in Huyton Library, the Knowsley Young Producers meet twice a month to collaborate on their cultural project – a celebration of the refugee communities in Knowsley that will take place during Refugee Week 2023.
The group all bring individual experiences, skills and aspirations to the group and are focussing on different areas of the project. Here they are, in their own words:
Chris, Age 20, Student and Musician
“Within the Knowsley Young Producers, I focus mainly on the entertainment side of things and music production. Outside of the event I am studying History of Art at Liverpool John Moores and I am the lead singer of my band Colour It Red. I was born and raised in a town called Oldham but currently live in Liverpool.
“I am passionate about organising events that make a difference to communities and use art and music as a medium for change. In my spare time I am either playing my guitar, kicking about a football, or enjoying a cold pint in the pub. My favourite thing about the Knowsley Young Producers is definitely all the brilliant connections and friendships I have made during the process.”
Joe, Age 21, Politics Student
“I’m working on the research and heritage side of the Knowsley Young Producers project. In particular, how different migrant and refugee communities living in the UK have contributed to our nation.
“Outside of the project I study Politics BA at the University of Liverpool. My degree has helped me with my research for the Knowsley Young Producers project as I have an understanding of not only contemporary cultures in the UK but also how post-WW2 we have seen the growth of a multicultural society.
“I am from North Yorkshire originally but now live in Liverpool. In my free time I enjoy playing sports such as Golf and Badminton. The part I have enjoyed most about being part of the Knowsley Young Producers is getting to understand the area of Knowsley, which has a lot of history behind it with a lot of cultures.”
Mariana, Age 25, Actress, Singer & Theatre Maker
“I’m a Liverpool-based Portuguese actress, singer, theatre maker and facilitator who is passionate about physical theatre. I’m an associated performer with Tmesis Theatre and my work is inspired by contemporary issues that affect life. I’m particularly interested in community projects that believe in theatre for change.
“In my spare time, I love to watch movies, run, listen to music, and play guitar.
“In my role as a Knowsley Young Producer my areas of focus are Physical Theatre producing and Community Engagement. I couldn’t be happier to be part of such a friendly multicultural group who are trying to make the world a more inclusive and kinder place.”
Oscar, Age 21, Student and Photographer
“As part of the Knowsley Young Producers project, I am curating a photography exhibition documenting people from resettled communities in Knowsley and gathering their stories as a part of the exhibition. Outside of KYP, I am a student at the University of Liverpool studying German and Film Studies. I also work for National Museums Liverpool as an events assistant and a retail assistant. I am originally from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, but moved up to Liverpool for university.
“I have a great interest in photography, and I use 35mm film cameras to take photographs in Liverpool. I am particularly interested in documenting what makes up the ‘fabric’ of Liverpool and the Northwest, which is its makeup of various people, subcultures and infrastructure, and how they are intertwined to make Liverpool and the Northwest the unique place it is.
“I am always looking to expand into different areas with my photography, which is why I was really keen to be part of Knowsley Young Producers.
“I am passionate about exhibitions, as I have organised photography exhibitions in Liverpool, where I have displayed my work alongside others and worked collaboratively with other creatives. I enjoy doing this in my spare time, and I like the idea that with Knowsley Young Producers, I can bring these skills into it to be part of a collaborative project, and work with other people creatively to produce something.”
Rama, Age 18, Health Sciences Student
“I feel proud and glad to be part of the Knowsley Young Producers. In my role, I am focused on Community Engagement and Cultural Programming. I am studying at City of Liverpool College and want to become a doctor. I’m from Damascus in Syria and I lived in Egypt from the age of five until I moved to England where I now live in Kirkby in Knowsley.
“Alongside my studies I work at a nursing home. In my spare time I love to read books, learn Quran, and do creative writing. I also have an interest in cultural heritage, so I recently volunteered with Historic England as a Young Advisor.
“I feel creative when I am with the Knowsley Young Producers, all of them are friendly, and I love that it is giving me the opportunity to engage with different cultures.”
Tamrin, Age 24, Architect and Masters Student
“I’m an Architect from Bangladesh, and I am now based in Liverpool where I am doing a Masters in Sustainable Heritage Management.
“I am interested in art, architecture, heritage, and culture. In my free time I like to paint, sketch, and explore new places.
“In my role as a Knowsley Young Producer, I am supporting on event design, marketplace programming and coordination. I love how Knowsley Young Producers are bringing different communities together to create a sense of belonging through various creative art forms, showing their enthusiasm and motivation towards creating a better place for everyone!”
The Young Producers have also worked together on a manifesto, which they have presented in the form of a poem:
We are the Knowsley Young Producers,
chasing our dreams and shaping our futures,
making a difference, one artful step at a time.
We bring creativity and art to unite,
communities of all colours, countries and might.
In the heart of Knowsley, we stand,
Where warm and welcoming hearts expand.
Leave your prejudice at the door,
And join us in celebrating refugees and more.
So come on in to dance, sing, create, and chat,
and remember, being respectful and kind is where it’s at.
Follow the progress of the Knowsley Young Producers on their Twitter account