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Polyphony Exhibition brings youth art to the public

Click here to see the art:
Polyphony 2015

Polyphony (puh-lif-uh-nee) noun

In regards to the programme: an event consisting of two or more simultaneous lines (stories of our young people) of independent melodies coming in together to create a harmony.

In 2014, Polyphony was launched with Professor Lonnie Graham (Pennstate College Professor of Pennsylvania, USA) flying in to Christchurch to run a week long workshop for 15 young people, giving them the opportunity to ‘speak up’ about the issues they perceived within our society using the medium of photography.

This year, Polyphony returned with a bit more to offer.

We Are The Future

Youth in the community have had the opportunity to have a voice in a creative and fun way using photograph and poetry. This year the Polyphony project was for youth leaders to support young people to ‘be heard’ on issues that effect them in the community, which all links in to supporting the Youth Week theme ‘We (Youth) Are The Future’.

YOUTH ARE THE FUTURE – the ones that will inherit the community we are all living and growing in.

CERA’s Youth Wellbeing Survey highlights that youth don’t feel they have enough opportunities to influence decisions in the recovery after the earthquakes. It is important that youth have a voice on issues that can affect them, the ‘Positive Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa‘ suggests young people need to be given the opportunities to have greater control over what happens to them, through seeking advice, participation and engagement. Young people who are supported to participate in decision-making are more likely to:

  • Have increased confidence and self-belief
  • Develop group skills
  • Exercise positive career choices
  • Gain practical skills
  • Exercise active involvement and great responsibility in the future

Hence – the existence of Polyphony.

This year the Polyphony project was for youth leaders to support young people to ‘be heard’ on the issues that effect them in the community. The youth were asked to put forward a piece of art using photography, poetry or spoken word to get their messages across. Youth from Papanui Youth Development Trust, IHC Youth Space, Te Ora Hou, Casebrook Intermediate and TKW Alternative Education all handed in artwork.

During youth week (23 – 31st May) the art was collected in and placed inside and outside of the Papanui Library for the public to see. An exhibition was held inviting the youth, their families, supporters of the project, community board members and members of the community to come check out the artwork on display for the first time. On this night, the youth involved in the project shared items – performing music, poetry and hosting the exhibition itself.

The art work is now displayed on the outside windows of the Papanui Library. There are also brief descriptions of each art piece displayed inside.

This programme was all put together by the Whakapakari Youth under the umbrella of Te Ora Hou Otautahi. Supported by the Shirley-Papanui Community BoardThe Papanui Library and Copycat.

For more information on Polyphony contact us here.

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