Session 12- Jan 23rd 2014 – The Screening Event

Today is our Screening Event!!!!

We are Dina, Sarah, Iman, Gabby, Sena, Lisa and  presented our music video to an audience of 18 important people – teachers, managers, key-workers, youth-workers and our friends and siblings.

We were really nervous as most of us had to lead on a section of the event. Some of us quickly wrote what were going to say to the audience so that we don’t forget. We had planned it before but thought we would have remembered but nerves got to us.

We was happy to see Pam and the team and we managed to fit in completing Crypt’s evaluation form.

What we did:

We had a circle time led by Anne-Marie who spoke about using this opportunity to show our audience the best of ourselves, which all starts with a decision that we have to make. It was emotional and we were encouraged to get through the event.

We showed our audience that we can plan, present, focus, be creative, appreciate others and work together to make this event and DVD happen.

Before the event started we:

Set up space – help to put away chairs, arrange tables
Lisa went to the shops and brought tins of coke because that was missing.
Gabby, Sena and Dina started to put out the refreshments, then Iman took over and served the audience.We all wanted to eat the food but we held it down.
Most of us had to go toilet at the last minute because of nerves.
We practiced – it was hard to remember, what to say because of our nerves. Some of us kept walking off, others kept shouting, others kept repeating things to ourselves. Some of us went to write down our speech. It was all getting so REAL!
Anne-Marie made us stay at the side of the stage and reminded is to breathe. She went over the order, answered questions and kept reminding us to be quiet. Eventually, we managed it. It was calm!

Gabby ran a domestic violence quiz, we got the giggles but recovered. Winners – got perfume and chocolates.
We also spoke about what we got out of the project.
They liked the DVD, Charli and Sue said they wanted to cry. Others said it was emotional, could feel the pain, which is what we wanted to show. The pain of life: family, relationships, but also wanting for a better life.

We were happy with what we did!!!

Abby put together a picture presentations which we asked for and she showed it at the beginning of the event and through our introduction. At first when we were practising it surprised us and we kept wanting to watch it.

We got all staff on stage at the end to say thank-you!

Took lots of pictures with The Crypt team And Neveah’s angel.

We got lots of great feedback and DreamArts, Crypt and Aspire staff said they were very proud of us.

See how we got on…

Enjoy the DVD, which we are very proud of….

SESSION 11 – January 16th 2014 – Planning and Leadership

So, Lisa, Sena, Sara, Sarah, Iman, Dina and Gabby all met Rene from LEAP.

He has been working with young people loads of years and he came to talk about a leadership project called LEAP that teaches you how to deal with conflict.

That the first conflict that we all face is the one with OURSELVES, like deciding what to wear when we are going out, not wanting to go school when we feel tired but knowing that we need an education, etc. CONFLICT on a larger scale is WAR!

With Rene we did this leadership exercise that helped us with our presenting skills. We had to write on a piece of paper some-thing we liked doing then place it in his hat. We then had to choose a different paper from the hat that was not our own and present it like it was our own idea. So we had to act and sale it to everyone else like it’s the best thing in the world.

It was weird a bit at first then we really got into it. Sarah went first and Gabby spoke about becoming famous because she can’t sing – it was funny and we was not expecting it. We wanted to do it over and over and we got more creative and confident with what were presenting.

Then we finalised our event plans before going to our Arts Award review trip – a cinema trip to Swiss Cottage IMAX Cinema to see ‘American Hustle’. We chose this film because it was the only good one we could see within the time we had.

The trip had lots of ups and downs. Some of us thought the movie was ‘dead’, others thought it was ‘alright but a bit weird’. Gabby who loves gangster and mafia type films, LOVED IT!

All we have to do now is write, film or audio record our thoughts about the film in terms of our likes, dislikes, what would have made it better and how it helped me as a young creative artist……. Oh yeah we also have to share our review with some-one else.

Session 9 &10: Dec 19th 2013 and January 16th 2014 – Preparation for our Screening

We are: Lisa, Sena, Gabby, Sarah, Sara, Dina, Iman

Time is getting closer to our screening date and the next two weeks is all about planning for the event and getting the DVD on point.

It was hard to concentrate at first and we kept getting distracted with other things but eventually we decided the following roles and order of the day:

Meet, greet and direct to refreshments – Senna
Refreshments (Dina and Iman)
music – operated by staff or perhaps Stevie (could you ask her please and to compile the music list)
Host – open event
Talk about the project and personal gains – Lisa, then Sarah I
Sara S conducts interview
Domestic Violence quiz – Gabby
DVD introduction – Gabby
Show DVD
QNA audience feedback conducted by Dina and Sarah I
Quiz result revealed and prizes
Certificate presented (do not tell them its a surprise)
Thank-you’s announced – Lisa

Busy planning for screening event next week.

Lisa, Sarah and Gabby practiced what they were going to say. We had to keep stopping and starting to take into consideration feedback from the group, DreamArts staff and Rene from LEAP. We just met him today for the first time and Chris the administrator from DreamArts.

We learnt about where to look, how to stand, breath and how to take our time when speaking. Anne-Marie said we should give examples and use key-words to remember what to say. With each practice we got better but it was hard to remember every-thing and control our nervousness.

Watch us practice!

We had to make sure the DVD was how we wanted it, so we watched the second draft that Abby had created twice. We laughed and made lots of noise because it felt weird seeing ourselves and there were some really good bits and bits that made some of us feel embarrassed.

Overall we thought is was really good, but we also wanted the following to be added:

– certain names needs corrected
– Lisa said that we needed more variety in the way the pictures appeared and disappeared, like fading, snapping and enlarging the tattoo.
– Sena said that the pictures if the key vocalists needed to be matched more when they are singing/rapping. Especially Sena’s.

Abby and Anne-Marie took on board our comments and Gabby said that there was much more pictures that had bern taken. Staff explained that a lot of the pictures/filming that we took could not be used because we either was moving the camera too much or taking pictures of things that did not fit or relate to the storyboard and DVD.

This is our second draft

Session 8 Dec 12th recording of our song ‘Runaway for A Better Day’

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Hi we are: Gabby, Iman, Sara, Lisa, Sarah, Sena, Stevie.
Today we were really excited and couldn’t wait for the pizza and to record our song. It was so heavy hearing our voices play back on the speakers.

Abby showed us the first draft of the video from the pictures and videos Gabby, Stevie and Iman have been taking in the last two weeks. It looks really good and we like most of the pictures and videos used.

Dina wanted to re-do her pictures, where she’s in motion. She said it doesn’t look good, “it’ scary”. We were not able to do that because she had to edit the song and rehearse before recording.

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Sena and Nyalissa went over lyrics and edited them as the final lyrics to record. This version was a lot more easier. We met the sound engineer Keith at the Crypt. He was alright and did some funky stuff with our voices when recording, sometimes it would sound like an echo. It was calm!

He recorded Sara, Dina and Sena doing the verses, then the rest of us doing the chorus. It was weird hearing ourselves recorded, but we really had fun!

Sena realised that she was good at rapping and that she really liked being in the studio. I think she’s gonna come back to the Crypt to use the music studio.

We are really happy we got to record the song.

Here are some of the photos from today, we will be adding these to the music video.

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Session 7- December 5th 2013 Finishing up the lyrics and taking all pictures and film for the video


We were a bit hyped today and just wanted to chat and catch up with each other. Straight after Pizza we started working on the song.
Abby played us a choice of instrumentals to choose from and most of us liked number 4 (Public Demand). Pam brought a guest singing tutor Mayes. She helped us a lot with the harmony for our chorus.

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With the backing track it’s starting to sound more real and Mayes and Anne-Marie was helping us with the chorus, whilst Sena was helping Gabby and Iman take photos of the ideas they had for the song.

The filming crew took all of the pictures and videos used on today’s blog! Here are some of the pictures from our storyboard.

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We managed to sing a long to the backing track and kinda of got know how to sing properly. Jannath helped us keep what we wrote last week and work on it so that it sounds good. Sena had some really cool ideas and kinda formed the lyrics much better so it made sense. She showed the rest of us, how she feels it should sound after she heard ours.

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It was Sena’s first day in our girls group and I think she really liked it.

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Session 6- Lyric writing


We are: Sarah, Lisa, Sena, Gabby, Stevie, Sara, Iman

Today was a lot of fun.
The Crypt staff came, told their stories and what made them who they are today. We met Nyalissa for the first time. She is a poet, a very good one, loved the one she performed for us.

We did soo much by the end of session, everyone was gassed from singing and writing. We’ve arranged most of our lyrics and created the hook ‘running away’ thanks to Janet and Nyalissa.

Pam helped us with our voices, in small groups, she taught us cool songs to help us learn breathing technique and how to harmonise. Telling us when to breathe in and out whilst singing.

We made up the flow for two verses of the song,

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– Performed the song a few times to make sense of it with the beat.
– Learnt and practised the basics of harmonising,

– Decided our video on a series of still Images and some moving images, (Stevie and Gabi)
– Filmed some shots, whilst learning camera techniques, Abby said to us (Gabi and Stevie) it’s easier to learn as we take pictures and film). All the pictures and videos from this session was done by Gabi and Stevie.

– Suggested Meek Mills, Macklemore are the kind of instrumentals we want for our song, so that Abby can bring it the next session.

SESSION 5 Nov 21st – Nevaeh’s Angel guest and visit to crypt

Hi, we are Dina, Iman, Natalie, Stevie, Sara, Sarah, Lisa, Gabby

Our first evening session, now we get down to working on our song and music video ideas. Anne-Marie explained what we will be doing for today’s session, the pizza part sounded really good. We were hungry man! The evening sessions are going to be heavy!!

Some of us like, Sarah, Iman, Stevie, Lisa started going through a form for how we rate ourselves on different things like acting, filming and singing just before everyone came cos we were early. Anne-Marie read out the form and we would just choose the number on a scale of 1-5, 1=best 5=poor. This we felt took long as we just wanted to go straight into what we are doing. But it helped to understand some of the skills we will be gaining from doing the project and to set goals for ourselves.

Check out the storyboard!!

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Heart stitched up, Gaby's idea Stevie's Idea: have someone walking and take pictures as they walk, out it all together so it looks like someone is walking. Abby said it a continious shot.

Heart stitched up, Gaby’s idea
Stevie’s Idea: have someone walking and take pictures as they walk, out it all together so it looks like someone is walking. Abby said it a continuous shot.

Nevaeh really inspired us, with her performance.

She also spoke to us about her life in different gangs and how going to church helped her change her life. It got really emotional in the room during her talk. We felt it for her and think she’s really strong and good at rapping, she obviously knows what she’s doing cos her videos are on youtube:

This is her talk and performance, enjoy!

Nevaeh’s Angels played her video Narrow path for us, which really inspired us.

Nevaeh’s Angels – Fire

We then told Nevaeh about what we’ve been doing in the past few weeks, hoping she can help us with ideas for our lyrics.

Nevaeh and Anne-Marie helped us to devise lyrics for our song, she said just write what comes to mind and we can edit it later. Sarah was writing down the lines we were coming up with around how it feels to be girls. Dina was on a roll today she kept on coming up with bare lines.

We really enjoyed this, and Nevaeh also asked us about what ideas we had for a video. Check this video out!
The process!

We then took a short walking trip to a youth club called The CRYPT! this was soo long, cos we wanted to just go home after the session, but Anne-Marie told us this is where we will be working from now on and it is to introduce us to the people at the Crypt so we can be using the centre after the project, so that was calm.

We had a scary moment though, just before we reached the crypt, Iman and Sara decided to run across the road cos they thought it was funny. All the rest of us were telling them not to do it, but they didn’t listen and nearly got run over by a car at a round-about. Anne-Marie waited for them to come back and reminded them about the need to think about their actions and their safety  especially when in public. They were very sorry. I don’t think we’ll be doing that again.


Pam gave us a quick tour of the building, especially the areas we will be using, I think she’s like the manager. A few funny moments, like we learnt that the reason it’s called the CRYPT is because there’s dead bodies in the walls, because that’s how they use to bury people back in the day. This kinda shook us a bit, but then again we didn’t really believe it.

Lisa explained to the Crypt team what we have been doing on our project, and what we hope to achieve.

SESSION 4 Nov 20th ‘My Dangerous Lover Boy’ watching Film

Hi we are: Lisa, Dina, Stevie, Natalie, Sara, Sarah, Iman,

We could not wait to watch the rest of the ‘my dangerous lover boy’ DVD. There was some really disturbing parts of the film where the girl is in a room and men come in and just have sex with her. Sarah couldn’t take it. The girl was getting rinsed out and we felt sorry for her.

After watching the film, Claire asked us if we thought it was gonna end like that. We were mostly vex with the ending, cos the girl run away and nothing happened to the boyfriend. we would have like to see it end with:
  • having the men put in prison and the girl following her dreams – Sarah and Sara
  • showing the girl dying/dead


We watched the ‘it’s because he cares’ animation video, this was cool. The girls spontaneously spoke of resisting ‘trickery’ – gifts, empty words of I love you, yet being asked to have sex, give brain or have anal’ – Sarah. The group then had a debate about ‘controlling behaviour and intention’ when Natalie said that if her partner asked her not to smoke weed she would See that as controlling. Iman spoke of smoking weed and still advising other not too because she knows of the effects and cares for the other person.
Getting involved making a photo collage Moodboard
Collage – How I want to be treated to in a relationship:
We didn’t quite understand the task at first, but we got round to doing the images to represent what we like in a relationship. Anne-Marie and Abby helped us individually to go through what picture represent how we feel. We loved it, with music playing in the background, we could chat about situations and find pictures that say what we are talking about. It was like a chill out session. Sara was our youtube dj, playing some heavy tunes.
Gabby working on collage.
Sara and Iman working on mural together
For some of us it was easy to show how we want to be treated and what we look for in relationships. But for others it was hard. They said, ‘there’s no such thing as a healthy relationships’ , ‘boys are manipulators, abusers and try to stop you seeing the true picture’, ‘can’t trust boys’.

SESSION 3 Nov 13th

Hey, we are: Sara, Sarah, Stevie, Dina, Iman, Lisa,Gabby.

Walked into the session today so excited, to finish watching that loverboy film. As last week we kept on stopping and discussing, we hoped to just watch it all the way through and discuss in the end. We starting liking the film and just wanting to see what the girl will do at the end.

Claire realised she did not have the DVD, this upset all of us and we said we can help look for it online. Gabby suggested this website where you can watch film for free, but the film was not on the website.

Anne-Marie wasn’t in today, we missed her and asked Abby where she was and she said that “Anne will not be joining us today.”

Claire came up with and idea of watching the music video of the theme song from the film ‘My Dangerous Loverboy’. We watched ‘My Dangerous Lover Boy’ music video, and had a discussion around what was happening in the video and how we could take from that video to create our own. A few words like FREEDOM, CONSENT, VULNERABLE, GROOMING, PERSUADE came up in our discussion and Claire broke it down for us, so we understood what they meant and at what point in the video this was happening. We really got into the discussion and spoke about situations which we think relate to what we watched.

2013-11-13 10.01.55 Thoughts and reflections from watching ‘My Dangerous Loverboy’

Natalie said she does not want the rap to be based on sex, “it’s long, why would I want to rap about those thing?” It’s going to be boring

We were asked to each say a line each for our song, from what we’ve learnt from the video and the few session we have done. This was long, we didn’t really want to do it, but once someone mentioned something we all added a bit. It was hard to think of a line.

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Stevie said she’s not going to do the video, Abby let her know she will be working on camera but would need to say what she thinks we can add.

SESSION 2 Nov 6th (Music video vision)

We are: Gabby, Natalie, Stevie, Sarah, Iman, Sara, Dina

We started the session looking back over two female images that stood out to us from last week. Anne-Marie put the images on the and asked us to think about what could make a girl go from one image to another. She taught us words like ’empowerment’ – to take control of your life, to take up opportunities, education, healthy ways of thinking so that you have more choice and ways of bettering yourself and ‘disempowerment’ – where you lose control of your hopes, dreams and ability to cope and hand your power over to others or be overpowered.

We listed different ideas of what could happen to girls to make them go form a position of ’empowerment’ to ‘disempowerment’ and the other way.

We said:- Loss, death, family break-down, drugs and alcohol, bad relationship, being taken advantage off, getting into negative situations, hanging around with the wrong people and more. Some of  us said that it like talking about our own lives. W also  said about not following certain people, being able to say no and not believing all what boys tell you, having self-belief.


Grooming of young girls

Claire Manchester from the Integrated gangs Unit showed us a video called ‘My dangerous lover boy’. This was the first time most of us have met her. She is one of us YOT worker.

My Dangerous Loverboy – here’s a summary of the film

It became annoying watching 5 mins of the film then stopping to talk about our thoughts and feelings, but managed to give feedback on what we thought and felt.

Our reflections of My Dangerous Loverboy

Our reflections of My Dangerous Loverboy

Natalie said next time we should watch the whole film without stopping, as it really annoyed her. Claire then explained that she keeps stopping the film so that we don’t forget our views.
We also could not stop talking once we started and we started to challenge each others views. Most of us were sympathetic with the girls situation. Others really got angry with what was happening to her. Gabby thought that she could have read the signs and left the man as soon as he gave her free gifts.

Did you know?

That a young girl at the ages of 13 can be groomed for up to 3 years so that the build a trust in the person grooming them, this makes them vulnerable.

We were able to identify early signs of danger like:
– a 15 years old, getting into the car of an older man
– being brought gifts very early in the relationship
– how the need to feel special (especially when such needs are not being met at home) can lead girls to a place of vulnerability. Where they will be controlled and over powered to do things that they do not want to do.