CASE STUDY: Young people discover a history of black struggle they didn’t know about, and make their first films

How can we change the future without understanding the past?

We have been working with a group of young film-makers to explore the 1981 Brixton “riots” – what happened, what has changed and what the events mean for young people today.

The most striking thing has been how little young people know about what happened in 1981 and the struggles of the past.

Have you ever wondered what young people think about a really important topic that relates to diversity and social injustice?  It could be something related to your industry, company or profession – like why does your organisation look so white or how can new developments contribute to greater equality.  

At We Rise we find out what young people think about an issue and get their ideas about how to make a change.

With the strong connections we have with local young people in South London, an incredibly important topic to cover and the creativity to work around social distancing restrictions, we have successfully delivered the first phase of one of our most insightful research and film projects to date. 

Our project has given young people the opportunity to learn about the events leading upto the 1981 Brixton Uprisings that happened on our doorstep 40 years ago, as well as finding out what they think the long term legacy of them has been on our community.

It was created as one of the 81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance

Bringing together our young team during the winter lockdown we used our experience of working online to successfully run workshop sessions involving a variety of external speakers, sources of information and stimulus.

We coached and supported the young people so that they were able to self create a series of short films – researching, writing, planning, filming, editing and delivering.

The first phase is a personal call to arms as to why they think it’s really important for their generation to get involved in projects like this. In later films they go on to explore the events of 1981, the legacy and what needs to happen next.

Watch their first short films below to find out what they had to say:

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