Future-Thinking in Fitton Hill2 min read

Every Friday I’ll be working with the Fitton Hill Youth group on a series of workshops titled ‘My Future Self’ – discussing the futures these young people want to see and create.

// Katie McKeever

// Katie McKeever

YDF24

My creative practice is rooted in my study of visual anthropology, using art as a way of navigating different social issues. Traditionally anthropology has been fixated on the past, with a deep association with colonialism. I reject the paternalistic attitude of early anthropological practices in favour of collaboration, inclusivity, and self-representation for participants which is reflected in modern methods. In recent years, there has been a shift within social anthropology to a focus on the future. I want to encourage the use of future-thinking as a way for young people to anticipate positive scenarios and to understand their present needs.

When Peshkar presented me with the opportunity to set up a series of creative workshops for young people in Oldham, my previous experience working in Fitton Hill came to mind. Janine Conway started the Fitton Hill youth club around 23 years ago and has been working extremely hard ever since, with a dedicated group of volunteers, to provide a safe and fun environment for local young people. I have spoken to many adults from the area who reminisce about the original Youth Centre in Fir Tree Avenue which was demolished over 12 years ago and replaced by a dental practice. Whilst Fitton Hill Youth Club relocated their meetings to the nursery within the Neighbourhood Centre, the community misses the former facilities. The volunteers are committed to the group; regularly planning new activities, offering pastoral support and encouraging older members to stay on as ‘Junior Staff’. I have planned creative workshops for the young people, framed around ‘visualising futures’ and I’m excited to see what outputs emerge as the project with Peshkar develops.