02 Dec 2019

Imagined Futures Part 3: Theatre & HipHop

Day 5:

In the morning I had to trek across the city to the Rocky Ridge YMCA where I went to another incredible community centre to watch Quest Theatre’s Flibbertigibbet’s Story Exhibit.

They had a purpose-built theatre space within the community centre! Please read my Blog International Strugglefor more lengthy, passionate descriptions and musings on the performance and this incredible community space.

It then took me an hour to go back across the city to the Genesis centre, this was via Uber as it was the easiest way to get to where I needed to be. I spent some time on my own just soaking up the atmosphere whilst I worked on my laptop.  As I sat there, I realised, they really have created a space for everyone to feel welcome and part of the community.

I saw about fifty Sikh men gathered in small clusters around tables playing cards, children playing in the space in the middle gazing at the Antyx Art Installations, young people working in the library, and people of all ages, shapes and sizes using the gym facility.  I had obviously arrived at Prayer time, because hundreds of people form the Sikh community were gathering in the prayer hall.  It is a truly remarkable space.

I also found a talking mirror, designed and created by Youth at Antyx, when you press the button it says nice things to you!  It is free for anyone to use:

Sitting across from me I noticed someone I recognised.

It was Stephanie from Antyx, sat behind a stall with a colleague from another Youth Organisation promoting opportunities to young people, so I sat with them for half an hour meeting so many different people.

In the evening I then met Bryan and Dwight the Hip Hop and Dance artists from Antyx who lead the Hip Hop Dance program. It was great, they had had a professional dancer unable to lead the session last minute and one of the young men volunteered to teach the whole group of about 25 youth his choreography.  It was incredible and I obviously had to join in!  The group then gave positive and supportive feedback to the young person after he had finished teaching his choreography and the session ends with about a half an hour cypher, where they break on the matt and encourage one another. The energy in that room was palpable.  Such a fantastic provision and so popular with the youth. It was great to see so many young men dancing and supporting each other to try new moves.

I left full of joy and totally inspired. Antyx Community Arts are running an incredible provision for young people!

I loved the experience so much, I didn’t get any photos because I was too busy dancing and talking to the young people.