Tawan, one of the young people who is joining our Croydon Living Streets Group's upcoming workshop, explains what kind of changes she’d like to see on her local streets.
Walking and cycling in South Norwood’s streets and green spaces was a sort of escape for many people during the COVID-19 lockdown. However, because of safety worries, going out for a walk may not appeal to people from marginalised groups, such as girls and young people in general. Worrying about the dangers outside, they remain cooped up indoors.
To find out more, Croydon Living Streets organised a creative workshop for teen girls and non-binary people called Our Voice, Our Streets to talk about the issues they’ve noticed concerning safety in their local area.
We explored South Norwood on foot, taking pictures writing poetry. We talked about how we could change the places we felt uncomfortable in. Then, we put all our ideas together and created a manifesto for change, a list of things that needed to happen, including more safe places to hang out with friends and better lighting in parks.
It's a creative opportunity for young people to join together and show that they care about their community... after this we hope that others will begin to see young people as kind, helpful, talented individuals.
A main problem we talked about in the workshop was that young people are often viewed by the public to be disruptive, dangerous, and untrustworthy. However, I think that because there are so few facilities and activities for teenagers to have fun and be creative, they become bored, or develop mental health problems, and that is when they start to do things they get in trouble for.
This is where the mural for South Norwood comes in as we will be working with artist Elno of Elno Art and Wom Collective a grassroots collective of London based female artists passionate about inspiring and empowering each other and our communities. The workshops will be a creative opportunity for young people to join together and show that they care about their community.
We will be designing and creating the street art ourselves and putting in all the effort we can to celebrate South Norwood. After this, we hope that others will begin to see young people as kind, helpful, talented individuals.”
The Street Art workshop starts this Saturday April 9 at Stanley Arts, 12 South Norwood Hill SE25 6AB and continues next week. You can register online now. This is part of our wider work developing affinity projects that are centred around listening and followed by taking action to embed lasting change.