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Tonya's poster at the DECAY zine workshop

The Accumulate DECAY ZINE Issue 2

The past week we have been running a series of ZINE workshops with residents of Evolve Housing‘s Stockwell hostel. It is always a bit of a stress, not knowing if the project is going to appeal or, worse still, whether anyone is going to turn up and actually do anything. Well, the fears didn’t last long, every day people would turn up, sit round a shared table, talk and share insights, stories and their creativity with each other.

Getting creative at the DECAY zine workshop

Getting creative at the DECAY zine workshop

It became a very meaningful activity, trust was developed and creative content was produced for the DECAY zine which was beautiful, emotional, personal and incredible. They produced drawings, illustrations, poems, photographs, stories and collages and it will now be a hard task to edit, select and curate these for Issue 2 of the Accumulate DECAY zine. Tonya came to the DECAY workshop after getting a new job, and she created this lovely poster which just sums up how great she felt!

Tonya's poster at the DECAY zine workshop

Tonya’s poster at the DECAY zine workshop


The start of "reverse sunset" by Tia at the DECAY workshops

The start of “reverse sunset” by Tia at the DECAY workshops

We finished the week of with a portrait and drawing workshop at Youth Subculture. The group created their own backdrops and then had their portraits taken in front of their creative work.

Aaron's backdrop for DECAY zine portrait

Aaron’s backdrop for DECAY zine portrait

It was a very empowering session, in fact the whole project has really encapsulated what Accumulate is all about – using creativity as a tool for empowerment and progressing in life. DECAY will come out in September, so be sure to grab a copy and find out just how much talent there is, that is hidden, and just needs a helping hand to be enjoyed, appreciated and admired. It’s going to be great!

Made By Us Exhibition Invitation

Tick tock, the Accumulate Made By Us exhibition is nearly here!

This is it, the final countdown to what we have been working towards since January – the Accumulate photography exhibition opens at The Guardian space this Thursday, 11th May,  at 7pm. So that’s 15 photography workshops, 20 student helpers, 9 hostels, 2 tutors, 23 participants and lots of energy, enthusiasm, love and friendship that has gone into the Accumulate Made By Us exhibition.

Made By Us Exhibition Invitation

Made By Us Exhibition Invitation

The day before we open the exhibition we will also be awarding 3 scholarships for 3 lucky, and very talented, Accumulate participants to study, fully funded, on the Access to HE Diploma in Design and Digital Media at Ravensbourne. It’s going to be one hell of an exhibition, and here is a sneak preview of some of the work that will be exhibited.

Jay Narayanan Portrait of Eric

Jay Narayanan Portrait of Eric

Kat Jagne: The Red head Scarf

Kat Jagne: The Red head Scarf

Thurshika Parthanan: Rose Tree

Thurshika Parthanan: Rose Tree

Geron at the Creative Writing Session

Creative Writing and the Accumulate Group

For the first time, since Accumulate started in 2013, we ran a creative writing session with the group. Writing itself often presents its own challenges, with negative experiences about school, literacy issues and dyslexia all becoming reasons not to attend the session. But these fears were set aside and 16 people turned up one Wednesday afternoon for a creative writing session at The Africa Centre in Southwark. We focused on two aspects, writing about their experiences on the Accumulate project and then, specifically, about their photographs which will be in the exhibition.

What was so evident was just how much everyone connected and were so eager to describe their experiences, they are so invested in Accumulate and having such a great time that now they can surmount any challenge. It was also the right time in the project to introduce the creative writing session, any earlier and we would not have had their attention or responses.  The brilliant session leader – Joanna Brown, delivered a really evolving workshop session that probed, asked and teased out the information, we had helpers on board to support where needed and then, at the end, we shared a “community” meal, kindly sponsored by local restaurant, Bala Baya. What a great day!

Geron at the Creative Writing Session

Geron at the Creative Writing Session