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Seen but Seldom Heard

7 August 2012

Image from a Seen But Seldom Heard session BU helps give young disabled people a voice through poetry.

Students at the Victoria Education Centre in Branksome, Bournemouth have been taking part in poetry workshops and will be performing their work as part of the Paralympics celebrations in Weymouth.

‘Seen but Seldom Heard’ is an on-going collaboration between academics, artists and the school using creative participatory methods founded on research from academics at Bournemouth University and helps young disabled students to find a voice through poetry.

The project, funded by BU’s Fusion Fund, aims to give students at the Victoria Education Centre the creative tools to explore perceptions and representation of disability within society drawing on their own experiences as well as Paralympic imagery.

Dr Carrie Hodges, a Media School academic involved in the project, said: “The true success of this project has been the transformation we have witnessed amongst the young people in just a few months. Poetry has provided a powerful creative outlet to explore personal experiences and feelings towards disability and some of the work produced is truly inspirational. One of the legacies will be a poetry writing group led by one of the pupils who participated in the project.”

The students involved, working with Performance Poets Liv Torc and Jonny Flufflypunk, have produced some startling and surprising work based around the theme of the media portrayals of Paralympic athletes. This work will then be showcased at three major events via live performance, film and an exhibition:

  1. Thursday 30 August - Live performance at ICCI 360 Arena in Weymouth as part of the Paralympics celebrations in Weymouth.
  2. Friday 21 September - Live performance and first public viewing of the documentary of the project. Allesbrooke Lecture Theatre, Talbot campus, Bournemouth University.
  3. Wednesday 10 October - Live performance at the Bridport Open Book Festival 2012.

Videos of the students performing their work as well as a blog detailing the workshops and a selection of poems can be found on the Seen but Seldom Heard website.

A poetry book will also be available for purchase from the end of August with proceeds going towards the funding of a Poet in Residence at Victoria Education Centre.

Seen But Seldom Heard Live featuring guest poet John Hegley will be held on Thursday 30th August - 7.30pm Weymouth Pavillion. Tickets are just £5 and are available now from the Weymouth Pavilion Theatre Box Office. Contact 01305783225 or purchase online.

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