We’re excited to launch our Muslim Peers Project! If you’re a young Muslim person who is queer or questioning, we’ve created a safe, supportive and judgement-free space for you to access counselling, contribute to an art and writing space, and connect with your peers.
“IF I DIDN’T DEFINE MYSELF, I WOULD BE C R U N C H E D INTO OTHER PEOPLE’S FANTASIES FOR ME AND EATEN ALIVE” Audrey Lorde
With school closures being enforced and students now learning from home, Outloud’s RESPECT Program was at risk from being suspended. The program is normally run within school grounds over two terms, with workshops designed to teach students about the nature and causes of domestic violence. Students write lyrics about these issues, and create an original song and film a music video.
With more and more families feeling increased pressure from this Covid-19 situation and the movement restrictions put in place by the Government, messages about domestic violence remain more important than ever, as reports of incidents are increasing.
Fearing their currents students would miss out on the rest of the program, halting the program was not an option for the Outloud team.
“While families are isolating together, it’s more important than ever to be reinforcing ideas of respect and caring for each other. By writing their own lyrics to songs that they then perform and share, the students are embodying the messages in the classes. By sharing their fantastic music videos, we’re spreading the word that this is a new generation of young men who are not only leading by example, but intervening when they see the need,” said Finn O’Branagáin, Outloud’s Artistic Director + CEO.
Determined to keep the program running, the team worked tirelessly to digitise and bring their workshops online. Google Classroom is one platform they are using to create, distribute and assess the activities that would normally run in the face-to-face workshops. “I’m really proud that we can keep delivering the workshops while the students are learning from home. By working with the teachers and delivering the workshops on Google Classrooms, we’re integrating with how the students are already working with their classwork, and making sure they still have access to the program,” Finn O’Branagáin addressed.
The Outloud team also had to find another way to launch the RESPECT music videos. Typically, once the students have had their music video professionally produced, the video would then be launched at their school assembly, giving the RESPECT students, as well as their peers, teachers and parents a first viewing of their music video. With the school restrictions in place, the team instead decided to launch these music videos online on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook Live.
Two of these RESPECT music videos have already been launched and were followed with a flood of positive responses. One of the video launches was also live-streamed on Facebook Live. This enabled people to virtually come together to watch the music video and create a sense of community. The live-stream had students, parents, teachers as well as the wider community tune in, with many having positive comments about the online launch.
WOW!!! Georges Hall Public School you make me feel so proud!!! Congratulations BOYS, from being so shy to now very confident individuals. Your performance is amazing!!! Please spread the message to your peers especially when entering high school. Best wishes always. Thanks to the great team led by Craig. You are all incredible people to work with. Looking forward to the next production!
By not postponing these video launches, they are ensuring that these messages about domestic violence from the RESPECT boys would be spread across the community in these increasingly difficult times. You can check out the videos below and leave a comment so the boys can see what you think:
Over the past few weeks in self-isolation the Outloud team has been working hard to reimagine what our programs might look like online, and how we might bring you new and exciting programs live and direct over the internet.
Our first workshop is ready for you to sign up to – and we’ve for more coming very soon.
INTRODUCTION TO PLAYWRITING Do you know someone who is 15 to 17 years old and wants to learn more about playwrighting (especially in this unprecedented time of lockdown and online arts)? Are you or someone you know watching hours upon hours of tiktok and netflix thinking “I would love to learn how to do that, how do you even start putting an idea down on paper? Is that even how you start? Huh!?”
Well then this one is for you, friend.
ABOUT THE MENTOR: Our fantastic mentor is Julian Larnach, a Sydney-based playwright. Julian won the inaugural Emerge: Riverina Playwrights Commission and the resulting play, BENEATH AN OXBOW LAKE, premiered in Griffith in 2015 then went on to a sell-out regional tour and season at Australian Theatre for Young People in Sydney. His monologue, SOMETHING I PREPARED EARLIER, was produced for the ATYP’s Voices Project and published by Currency Press.
His play FLIGHT PATHS premiered at National Theatre of Parramatta in 2018 directed by Anthea Williams. In 2017, Julian’s musical FOLK SONG premiered Outback Theatre for Young People; and IN REAL LIFE premiered at Darlinghurst Theatre Company. He was a member of Sydney Theatre Company’s inaugural Emerging Writers Group from 2017 – 2019.
Julian will be taking his skills online to present to you a free online workshop via Zoom on the 8th of May.
If you are interested or know someone who might be, please fill out our expression of interest here.
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Outloud staff and artists are working from home.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR OUR PROGRAM?
RESPECT, our in-school project for boys under 12, teaching about domestic violence causes and prevention through songwriting and performance is moving online for the rest of the term. Our facilitators will continue to deliver the program using live streaming, video, and Google Classroom. We’re waiting to hear what Term 2 will bring, but are committed to delivering the program in whatever shape we can – either back in schools if they’re open, or continuing online if they are not.
STORIES OF STRENGTH, our oral-history project will also move online, working with Community Activities Lake Macquarrie to roll the program out digitally. Stay tuned for more information about how you could be part of this exciting new way of working.
OTHER PROJECTS – We’re currently working super hard behind the scenes to bring you an updated program. Some of our plans have had to be put on hold, but many will go ahead in a new, digital way! Keep an eye on our Facebook and in your inboxes for more information as we can release it.
Despite our funny little gif above, we urge you to please take social distancing seriously. The more we can stay home, the fewer new cases of Coronavirus we’ll see. #allinthistogether
Tim Carroll has left the building! Our beloved Tim has retired after 28.5 years as the director of BYDS, and friend to so many of us here in Bankstown. Under Tim BYDS has initiated over 800 arts projects (which many of you have been involved with I’m sure), raised a generation of professional artists and helped shape Bankstown’s cultural landscape. Under our new name Outloud, we will carry on Tim’s hard work and epic legacy.
Our new director is Finn O’Branagáin, a Darwin native, who has travelled all the way from Berlin to take on the role. She has many years of experience in arts work and is also an incredible performer and performance writer. Her most recent roles have been Company Coordinator for playful media renegades pvi collective, and Co-Artistic Director of multi-form performing arts festival Crack-X.
Tim Carroll said of Finn, “It is such a thrill for me to be handing over to Finn O’Branagáin. Young, bright, enthusiastic and highly experienced – Finn has skills much in demand in Bankstown and surrounds and I wish her every success as Director of Outloud and the custodian of nearly thirty years of projects with community.”
Our very own Chair of the board and break-dancer in another life – Khai Ngo said, “After an extensive search, we’re happy to welcome Finn O’Branagain as the Director of Outloud to continue the important legacy created by Tim Carroll and BYDS. We’re excited about this year’s program and look forward to the strong community support through this vital transition period for the organisation. “
2020 has lots in store for Outloud – continuing our wildly successful RESPECT program; Stories of Strength; exciting new collaborations with ATYP and the Story Factory; a new initiative with the Dulwich Centre for young Muslim people, and three brand new large projects to be revealed in the coming months. Get excited.
In Finn’s own words, “I’m excited about stepping into this role, supporting artists and community members to make their voices heard. Tim has left big shoes to fill, but I look forward to being as embedded in the community. Our upcoming projects promise to be meaningful and impactful. I can’t wait for them to begin!”
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