Whether it’s Lionel Messi at FC Barcelona or Saïd Benrahma at Brentford, creativity is right at the heart of the beautiful game. But this summer it’s our young people who have taken centre stage with an inspiring, poignant and, quite frankly, brilliant response to our creative lockdown challenge.

When the pandemic took hold in March, we quickly launched a virtual school to provide structure, support for schoolwork, and opportunities to connect with peers and practitioners – central to this were two digital creative projects designed to give our young people a platform to make their voices heard.

And they responded loud and clear as was clearly evident at the recent summer showcase event “FBB x Between Screens”, a digital exhibition via Zoom that attracted almost 100 supporters.   

There were two different three week challenges – a digital art project called “Still Life” and a spoken word project called “Beyond Bars”. In total, 15 young people from London and the North West shared their work during a passionate and often emotional 90 minute session.


Check out the Beyond Bars project journey from start to finish!

For the “Still Life” project, contemporary artist Sarah Owusu was on the call to provide live feedback and reflections on all thirteen pieces – everything from acrylic painting to sculpture – covering a wide range of topics from COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter to Australian bush fires and mental health. There were cheers and there were tears. All the artists are aged between 12 and 16 and the featured work is listed below:

  • Shalukah – Pathetic Fallacy
  • Gabriela – Breakthrough
  • Blessing – Aspiring Challenge
  • Charlotte – Two Faces
  • Fabio – Make a Change
  • Tachiem – Time for Christianity
  • Mahnoor – Say their Names
  • Skye – Silence
  • Miguel – Black Lives Matter
  • Jace – The Bigger Picture
  • Noor – Suicide
  • Pavithiran – Foot Down
  • Anaiya – Choose your own Path

The “Beyond Bars” project was designed to help students develop their skills in writing and performing pieces of spoken word and, following coaching sessions with spoken word artists, two of the young people, Jaida and Sean, shared their pieces, “Life as we enter the Unknown” and “Untitled” live on the call. Both were hugely well received with a flurry of positive comments and feedback.

FBB Co-Director Jasper Kain said: “I’m not usually lost for words, but this showcase has left me just that. All emotions are valid, and I’ve really taken that from the event, it’s been so powerful. The work has made us realise that there is another world that’s possible and I’m feeling very inspired by the incredible creativity we have seen during these projects.”

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