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The Accumulate video and our Camera Amnesty campaign.

This video shows what Accumulate is all about.

Our latest exhibition, Made By Us,  showcased the photographs of 23  young homeless people and the launch at The Guardian was a huge success. This year, 6 people, who were on the Accumulate programme, will be starting at Ravensbourne college in September. Their lives are now on a new path and their futures look much brighter than they did a year ago. It really is amazing how much everyone has progressed on the project, learning new skills, building their confidence and realising their own potential and ability to progress their lives into a much more positive space.

One thing that the Accumulate participants speak about is how much they would like their own cameras so that they can take photographs in their own time. The lovely folk at Shutterhub heard about this, created the Camera Amnesty campaign and have reached out to the photography community to tell them about the project and ask them to donate their old cameras to Accumulate so that we can distribute them to our participants.

Result! Cameras are coming in and here’s a very happy Eric with his Camera Amnesty camera!

Eric with his Camera Amnesty camera

Eric with his Camera Amnesty camera

 

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, Claire, Deluxe, Sabela and Jay at the Accumul8 Shoreditch workshop.

Learning photography at Accumulate isn’t just about learning photography.

Accumulate is all about learning. learning new skills, learning about photography and for the young people involved, to learn more about themselves and their potential. One thing Accumulate also tries to do is to vary the learning styles we use as much as possible. So, even though, we are delivering photography workshops every week and the participants are learning to use DSLR cameras and how to take good photographs, the learning also comes from industry speakers, visiting galleries and exhibitions, doing activities and developing personal skills (such as communication, time management and self-discipline skills) in a comfortable and trusting environment.

This is all part of a journey that the participants go on. It is a journey of self -discovery, such as when the group did the portrait workshop at Photofusion and wrote letters to their future selfs. They decorated their portraits with stickers and jewels and shared their insights and letters with each other. It became a situation where people opened up and talked about their hopes for themselves.

Sharing and learning together at the Photofusion workshop.

Sharing and learning together at the Photofusion workshop.

Louis shares his letter to himself in 15 years time.

Louis shares his letter to himself in 15 years time.

A really popular, and very exciting, annual Accumulate photography workshop is the visit to London Fashion Week where the group photographs all the fashionistas who hang about outside the shows. This year, we held the “pre-workshop” at Somerset House and invited three fashion industry speakers to tell of their stories, their set-backs and achievements. One of the speakers was Tori Taiwo, a fashion designer and photographer, who had been previously homeless, and told the group that their situation should not be used to hold them back but can be turned into something positive. A really hard hitting, powerful and heart felt message for the Accumulate group, and Tori spent time speaking about how her own personal negative situation which became a force for eventual success. All it took her was self-belief, grit, determination and resilience. And those don’t cost anything.

Younnis shares his photograph with a fashionista at London Fashion Week.

Jay shares his photograph with a fashionista at London Fashion Week.

And so the Accumulate photography workshops have now come to an end for 2017 and the selection process starts for their exhibition.

The last workshop the group had was a street photography session which took place in Shoreditch. Shoreditch is all about of crazy graffiti, Hoxton hipsters and cool cafes, but this last Accumul8 workshop was actually about learning that everyone had been on an incredible life journey. They had become more confident, happy, made new friends and were enthusiastic and energised by their new skills. This is true for the Accumulate participants and also the Ravensbourne students. Just young people who enjoy learning, sharing and being with each other. Roll on the Accumulate exhibition!

Geron, Claire, Deluxe, Sabela and Jay at the Accumul8 Shoreditch workshop.

Geron, Claire, Deluxe, Sabela and Younis at the Accumulate Shoreditch workshop.

Shoreditch Shoots and the Accumul8 Gang

This week we went to Autograph’s premises in Shoreditch. It is the home of the Association of Black Photographers and we were really privileged to be shown the archive of photographs by black and diverse photographers, hear about the organisation and learn about a wealth of photographic work with huge cultural and historical importance.

Ali Eissa from Autograph in Shoreditch shows off the wonders of their archive to the Accumul8 participants.

Ali Eissa from Autograph in Shoreditch shows off the wonders of their archive to the Accumul8 participants.

About 95% of Accumul8’s participants this year are from Black and Ethnic Minority backgrounds and so this visit and significant relevance and importance to them and was something that they could all relate to.

The amazing and inspirational Gisela Torres then led the photography workshop around the streets of Shoreditch, with the students from Ravensbourne assisting and supporting the Accumul8 participants to take the best possible shots in the lead up to their exhibition at The Guardian.

Goda from Ravensbourne, Younnes from Freedom from Torture and Geron from East London YMCA on the Accumul8 Shoreditch Shoot.

Goda from Ravensbourne, Younnes from Freedom from Torture and Geron from East London YMCA on the Accumul8 Shoreditch Shoot.

The participants, who are from 9 different hostels across London, are now friends with each other, sharing their images and being open about their work and aspirations within the project. It is so amazing how the impact of this project goes beyond learning about photography and encourages confidence, communication skills and pride in the participants.

Gisela Torres, an Accumul8 tutor, shares her photography wisdom and skills with Jay and Alex, two Accumul8 participants.

Gisela Torres, an Accumul8 tutor, shares her photography wisdom and skills with Jay and Alex, two Accumul8 participants on the Shoreditch Shoots photography workshop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Accumul8 DECAY zine – it’s here and it’s glorious!

So the Accumul8 zine called DECAY is finally here, – edited, designed, printed and available. It looks cool, real cool and is full of the random thoughts, ideas, drawings and writings of a group of young people who are living at the North London YMCA Hostel in Crouch End. Every week the group gathered together and sat round a big table in the canteen and just drew, wrote and explored and expressed their thoughts. Calmness prevailed and everyone worked together towards a common goal, the production of their own zine.

Shana drawing for the Accumul8 DECAY zine

Shana drawing for the Accumul8 DECAY zine

Working together for the Accumul8 DECAY zine

Working together for the Accumul8 DECAY zine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a lot of midnight sweat on scanning, editing and designing the Accumul8 Zine came to life and DECAY arrived. And we love it.

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DECAY zine cover

Summertime

Summertime

Cos People Get Scared

Cos People Get Scared

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many many huge thanks to the ever so creative and brilliant Brian Baderman for leading on the workshops and and to the lovely student helpers from Ravensbourne for collaborating on DECAY. It’s been a great project and look out for Issue 2, coming in the springtime for you to peruse, savour and delight in.

A happy DECAY reader

A happy DECAY reader

In other news, Marice Cumber, founder and director of Accumul8, won the prestigious Social Entrepreneur Leader of the Year award from the UK Leadership Awards. Fab to have the recognition and that other people can see the value of what Accumul8 is trying to achieve for young people who are homeless and deserve something better in life.

Marice Cumber, Founder of Accumul8, with her Social Entrepreneur of the Year award.

The Accumul8 Magazine Project – DECAY

Accumul8 has started a new project with the young people living at the North London YMCA Hostel – creating stories, images and content that will be collated together, edited and produced into a magazine. The magazine is going to be called DECAY and it will be representative of all the creativity, ideas and imaginations of the hostel residents. DECAY is a collaboration between the young hostel residents and also the students at Ravensbourne and shows what can be produced in a collaborative, supportive environment where inner voices are encouraged and people feel safe to explore their ideas and imagination.

Abdul writing a poem for the Decay. Abdul has arrived from Syria, speaks no English, and this was his first day in the hostel.

Abdul writing a poem for the Decay. Abdul has arrived from Syria, speaks no English, and this was his first day in the hostel.

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Brian is leading the workshop, he is also the “scribe” for people’s stories

Nadia, from Ravensbourne College, and Kenny, from the NLYMCA hostel, collaborate on a drawing for the DECAY magazine

Nadia, from Ravensbourne College, and Kenny, from the NLYMCA hostel, collaborate on a drawing for the DECAY magazine

The Accumul8 exhibition at The Guardian

July 14th was the opening night of the Accumul8 exhibition and what a night it was! The best bit was seeing the Accumul8 participants run into The Guardian exhibition space and literally whoop with excitement at seeing their work displayed in such a prestigious space. They were so proud of their work, so enthusiastic and excited to speak to all the visitors and even happier when they sold their photographs! It was a beautiful moment to see them being celebrated and rewarded for their talents and achievements and feeling so positive about themselves, their value and their potential.

This film was made by Simon Allinson, a Ravensbourne graduate, about the private view and you can hear Jamal and Isaac speak about what they got from attending Accumul8 and how they have benefitted. Pretty much sums it up!

Preparing for the Accumul8 Photography Exhibition

This week was the start of the big journey towards the grand Accumul8 exhibition at The Guardian, opening on July

Starting the selection process

Starting the selection process

14th.

And what a week it was! We started and completed the selection process of the photographs that have made the grade and will be shown. We also were able to celebrate and congratulate all the young people who had participated in the Accumul8 project on their achievements so far.

We were really privileged to have Luke Dodd, curator of The Guardian space, and Brett Rogers, director of The Photographers’ Gallery, make the big decisions as to what will be shown and to also hear from the real professionals about why they were making specific choices and why certain images were worthy of being exhibited. Both Luke and Brett were really impressed by the work and Luke spent considerable time afterwards talking to the Accumul8 participants about their individual photographs, their talent and their potential to take their photography further.

Luke and Brett curating the images that will be shown at the Accumul8 exhibition

Luke and Brett curating the images that will be shown at the Accumul8 exhibition

This was very timely, as this year, for the first time, Accumul8 will be awarding one, very lucky, Accumul8 participant a scholarship to study on the Access to HE Diploma in Creative and Digital Media at Ravensbourne. The Accumul8 scholarship will cover their fees, plus there is also the possibility of having their laptop and camera paid for as well. Our thanks go to Burns Owen Partnership for supporting the Accumul8 Scholarship.
The goal is eventually, for the recipient of the Accumul8 scholarship to then become an Accumul8 workshop assistant and role model for future participants of the Accumul8 creativity project for young, homeless people. It’s a case of education changing lives, creating new futures and good, old reciprocity.

 

The Accumul8 group get to see what of their work has been chosen for the exhibition.

The Accumul8 group get to see which pieces of their work have been chosen for the exhibition.

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The Accumul8 group on top of Primrose Hill

Markets, locks and hills

For the final photography session of this series of workshops the Accumul8 group visited Camden, exploring the markets, walking beside the canal and ending up at the top of Parliament Hill. This was the first year that Accumul8 has worked with three hostels and over such a long period of time (this week was the 20th session). It has been an incredible journey of learning and skills development. But more amazing is to watch the participants becoming more confident with themselves, with newly found self-esteem and a sense of well-being, that goes far beyond the actual activity. This will, hopefully, help them to make their own positive life decisions. It’s been a blast!

Pic below: students, residents and workshop leaders having fun

Ravensbourne students, Accumul8 participants and workshop leaders having fun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Countdown to the Accumul8 exhibition

selection2choosing photos for exhibitionThis week we started to select the photographs for the Accumul8 exhibition at The Guardian headquarters in King’s Cross. It was wonderful seeing the participants’ confidence grow as they realised that they had a collection of images that were worthy of being in a public exhibition and were making and understanding choices as to what is a great picture. ‪#‎OthellodeSouzaHartley‬ and ‪#‎SteveFranck‬ did a great job with the first edit, the next edit for the show will be with curators from ‪#‎TheGuardian‬ and ‪#‎ThePhotographersGallery‬.

Photos: Jamila gives her photo selection the thumbs-up!

Jamila gives her photo selection the thumbs-up!