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

Learning photography at Accumul8 isn’t just about learning about photography.

Accumul8 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 Accumul8 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 learning and stories at the Photofusion portrait workshop.

Sharing learning and stories at the Photofusion portrait workshop.

Louis' decorated portrait and letter to himself to be opened up in 15 years time.

Louis’ decorated portrait and letter to himself to be opened up in 15 years time.

A really popular, and very exciting, annual Accumul8 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 Accumul8 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.

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

And so the Accumul8 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 Accumul8 participants and also the Ravensbourne students. Just young people who enjoy learning, sharing and being with each other. Roll on the Accumul8 exhibition!

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cos People Get Scared

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.