At the start of February 2020, the Level 5 journalism students from the University collaborated with The Samosa to study, investigate, research what identity means to them, also wider identity politics and debates. Their topics included experiences of having a disability, experiences of being a young black man in London, pressures of being a young woman, what it means to be a feminist today and what it means to be British in 2020.
As part of the production project, each student was designated a role which included website developer, cameraman, production assistant, researcher and film editor.
The group was able to experience what it is like, working in a creative collaborative process and deliver a real time media commissioned project, working across a range of sensitive and challenging issues.
Helped along by Samosa Media Education Officer Natalie Marshall, the group used what they had discussed around journalism, history, race, culture and politics, to explore five specific themes: disability; the experience of being a young black man in London; the pressures sometimes put on young women; what it means to be a feminist; and what it means to be British in 2020. The students developed their ideas and made a series of short films, informed by their research and discussions and a website.
Professional filmmaker Victor Rios from Three Blokes Productions then joined the project to mentor the students through the production and editing process. Each student was designated a role which included website developer, camera operator, production assistant, researcher and film editor. The students created this website, which will be used as an educational resource to help discuss and study diversity in schools, colleges and universities.
Because of the sudden arrival of COVID-19 and the campus closures that came with it, the team had to quickly make major changes that affected both production and post production.
But with patience and imagination the students managed to complete what has been a valuable exercise in creative collaboration with an external client, and through that process to know more about some sensitive and challenging issues.
It is the fifth collaboration between Samosa Media and UEL since the partnership began in 2016. Subjects explored through the UEL/Samosa collaboration include the UK’s controversial anti-extremism programme Prevent, and Sexualisation in the media.
The project is part of a wider programme of work being led by Samosa Media to support diversity in the curriculum. And it is available now as a teaching resource.
For further information on this curriculum partnership please email Samosa Education Officer Natalie Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org or Simon Miles (senior lecturer in the School of Arts and Digital Industries) at S.P.Miles@uel.ac.uk
Samosa Media is grateful for the support of The Sir John Cass’s Foundation, The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, The Arts Council and Sir Harvey McGrath.