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We held TikTok Poetry with Oliver Sykes on Monday and Tuesday in Manchester Central Library where teens worked on poetry inspiration and creation, alongside considering how they deliver their work.
The two days were made up of very different groups of young people and the breadth of work that came from it was incredible. On the first day we had an anti-sonnet about pets being a terrible idea, chess as war, unfortunate mushrooms and treacherous poobags. On the Wednesday we had a poem about waffles, skating, the existential difficulties of cats being unable to know why we love them because they’re too small to see themselves in mirrors and a poem for a girl from Ukraine’s late friend.
We’ll use our social media to display some examples of what they put together, here is a poem for you that the poet didn’t want filmed, but was happy to exhibit. This is ‘Cats’ from Farah (6 years old).
On Wednesday and Thursday, we held Manga workshops with professional manga artists Inko Ai Takita and Chie in Bolton Library, Eccles Library and Pendleton Library, and Beat Making / Music Production workshops with Yussuf Maleem in Urmston and Altrincham libraries.
Chie and Inko both started by explaining the world of manga publication in Japan and showing some examples of how it’s consumed there.
These are examples of manga books, a prose / manga hybrid novel (top right). The bottom left is a yellow pages style publication that has over 1000 one page mangas in, they’re between the equivalent of £2-3 and are released weekly so you can follow the stories you want to read. It makes manga really accessible, but the price is also worth it if you’re only keeping up with a few of the stories inside. They are sold at all train stations and high traffic areas.
Both Inko and Chie then went on to show their own styles of manga, breaking down general principles and how small changes can be used to create character personalities and emotions.
The attendees then applied these principles to their own work creating characters before moving on to the concept of 4 panel manga stories.
Yussuf took the workshop through principles of beat making and basic programmes that are available to allow all the young people to start to explore their own creative concepts. By showing them how to make them and record them, they can go on to develop their own ideas and practices.
It was incredible to see so many young people so engaged with the content and the incredible work that came from it. What was also excellent was to see the smiles from parents at the level of work their children made and their compliments about the quality of the workshops considering they were free and available to all. We promised that we’d use our social media to highlight the hard work they did, so keep an eye on our TikTok and other channels (@MCRCityofLit on everything) to see all the incredible work they made.
These were brilliant workshops to be involved in, so thank you to all the artists and libraries who worked with us.
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