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Southhampton project for Apples & Snakes

“The Me Inside” was an interesting project to be involved in.  As someone who was only there to video the project and record Nick Makoha’s work with the young people in the schools through to the final performance, I was afforded a privileged glimpse into how poetry and spoken word enables young people to express themselves whilst tackling such personal issues as communication and literacy skills.

The young people were attentive, imaginative, responsive and brave when it came to the final performance, standing there in front of other school children, parents and teachers reading their work.  It was a great project to witness through the lens of a camera and one of those moments as a filmmaker you know that you will never truly be able to capture on film the young people’s achievements.  No matter how much you film you realise that writing and reading poetry out loud were not the only hurdles that these young people were overcoming during the project.  You only had to listen to the words they had written to realise that poetry had given them the opportunity to express deeper and at times painful thoughts and feelings – which is a courageous thing to do at any age.  Then to stand up and share them with others is a kind of bravery only projects like this breeds.

For me “The Me Inside” was inspiring and made me smile and marvel at the capacity of young people to take their perceived weaknesses and turn them on their heads simply because someone like Nick Makoha was able get them to see the connection between what you see, what your feel, what you write and what you say out loud and how that effects others.  Wonderful. David White, Creative Director, City Eye