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"With Me Be Us" was an online programme for young people to help them connect with each other and also to give them a creative outlet during lockdown of 2020


The aim of the project was to offer online video tutorials and workshops to encourage young people to develop comic book characters, story plot and songs for a musical graphic novel that was funded by the Art Council of England and sponsored by Medway council and Medway mental health services.
 

Video Tutorials

We created some online video tutorials for songwriting and illustration related to the graphic novel, which we posted on our YouTube channel.

We then shared these videos across social media* so that young people could have access to them during lockdown.

*We believed that the best way to engage with young people was to use social media platforms used by them in their daily lives, such as Instagram, FacebookYouTube etc.

"With Me Be Us" and all comic book characters included are copyright of Nadia Perrotta and 2A-LTY

Young People Response to Our Video Tutorials

Young people response to our video tutorials was related mostly to music making, song writing and building a story plot around the existing characters. They responded to questions such us "What will happen to Murphy when she wakes up? Is she going to enter "The Cave"? What happens inside the cave? what is beyond the cave? What are the dangers she might face and how will she be able to escape? Who is going to help her? The responses came from young individuals and from groups from schools not only from Medway but also cross UK.

In the gallery below you can see some of the sketches maid by young people suggesting ideas for the story plot. All these ideas are now included in our musical graphic novel Murphy's Adventures

Workshops

After we recoded and shared our online tutorials a number of schools and youth centres got in touch to work with us. At first when lockdown regulations were still in place, we used meeting platforms such as Zoom or Streamyard to meet with youth groups online through optional and drop in live sessions

During the workshops, we asked young people to create comics characters that could represent either fears or superheroes able to conquer fears. Then we asked also to write words that could be included in songs, inspired by those characters.

Here on the left you could see some examples of the works produced.

Some of those works were selected and modified digitally in order to become designs to print on t-shirts.

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We conducted workshops both online and in person and discovered that the students enjoyed what we did with them and would like to participate in more workshops in the future.

Our workshops included both music and illustration. 

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Digital Designs

We took some of the students drawings and turned them into digital drawings that were then made into T-Shirts that we sold at the RAPTURE GAMING FESTIVAL to help raise money for local charities, working with young people with Autism

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Intra Workshop

At the end of the project, to celebrate the publishing and launch of the graphic novel and webtoon we organised a screen-print workshop at the Intra art space in Rochester with the participation of young people from Club AUsome

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