Culture Shifts and the young people of Sefton present…Positive Changes
The Atkinson, Southport
Saturday 9 September – Saturday 4 November
As part of an on-going collaboration between Open Eye Gallery, Sefton Youth Service and The Atkinson, this Autumn we are delighted to present the Sefton iteration of Culture Shifts.
Culture Shifts is a region wide socially engaged photography programme working with 12 photographers embedded in communities across 7 areas. It aims to support communities to explore their stories in a way that is meaningful to them.
For Sefton, young people from across the borough have come together with photographer Colin McPherson to create a series of photo stories reflecting on their identity, interests and lives. Positive Changes is an exhibition, which brings together two diverse yet interlaying projects by the Sefton New Beginnings (LGBTQ+) group and the Sefton Youth Voice group.
The young people from New Beginnings wished to create a body of work with Colin McPherson, which touched on topics around gender discrimination, stereotyping and identity. More over the work reflects the journey of these young peoples’ lives as they seek to find their own place within today’s society. Each image and the video work presented raises ideas of misconceptions about representation and what it means to be LGBTQ+ in an honest and empowering way.
Sefton Youth Voice wanted to work with photography as a tool for spreading a UK wide message about what matters to young people today. Working with Colin to create a series of 9 images, each photograph represents a key topic under the recent ‘Make Your Mark – Curriculum to prepare us for life’ campaign; a national youth parliament initiative for young people to speak out about the major concerns for their generation. Topics ranged from mental health and cyber bullying to body image, effects of media, sexual health and politics.
Each image from both sets of work, will also be made into a postcard series with more information around each topic and how it is affecting young people. The postcards will be distributed to local and national government and council representatives, education and health sectors, spreading the message to those audiences who need to hear it.
The exhibition will include audio interviews by each of the young people as well as interactive elements for the audience to respond to the contents of the show.
The exhibition opens on Saturday 9 September at The Atkinson. We also invite you to our opening celebration event on Tuesday 12 September, 5-8pm where you can meet with the young people in person and all the staff and partners who supported the realisation of this timely and impactful project.
Over the next few months, a series of Culture Shifts shows will take place across Merseyside and Cheshire. The projects connect photographers with various communities, encouraging people to explore the stories of their surroundings, deepen their understanding of their home and create a sense of positive community cohesion. Shows will take place in Toxteth, Kirby, Sefton, Wirral, and St. Helens. The exhibitions will culminate in a long-running show at Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery in October, collecting together highlights from each of the exhibitions.
For more information please visit theatkinson.co.uk
or call the Box Office on 01704 533333