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Meet our Creative Protagonists and find out more about their projects

Back in autumn 2020, we put out a call for young working-class artists aged 14-19 years old to be a part of Creative Protagonists, a new project that we are running in partnership with RECLAIM and funded by Young Manchester.

Since then, seven projects have started to take shape, including films, music, live performances, visual art and more. We’ll be bringing you more updates on their work when we share their final projects in July 2021, but so far, we have this amazing piece of artwork from Creative Protagonist Hazel Gibson.

picture of apartment block by Hazel Gibson

Plus, some members of Creative Protagonists featured on the Poor Lass podcast to talk about their work, and you can hear the whole thing here.

Meet the Creative Protagonists

We athe Creative Protagonists to tell us a little bit about themselves and their projects.

Tofunmi Ogidan

(Tofunmi is a writer.)

My project is a morality play based on coming out of your comfort zone. It will take place in a basketball court and it will be a discussion amongst two brothers who have an open conversation about how they’re feeling.

Daniel Olaniran and Jevan Boleka

Hi, our names are Jevan Boleka and Daniel Olaniran. We live in Manchester.

Our project is a short film to raise awareness of mental health in young people who are going through loss/grief. The short film forces the viewer to look at the film from a different perspective.

Hazel Gibson

I’m Hazel Gibson, a 17 year old illustrator based in Oldham. I’m working on stylised illustrations depicting working class spaces.

Ed Bayley

I’m Ed, I’m 17, I’m from Stockport and have grew up surrounded by music. My project is some songs that’s I’ve written with my guitar-heavily influenced by Johnny Marr, New Order and Oasis.

Lauren Corless

Hello! My name is Lauren Corless, and I am a 19-year-old actress/poet/DJ/artist. In my spare time I enjoy putting together photoshopped images, drawing, mixing dance music or watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. I enjoy all aspects of creativity; I literally live and breathe creative expression and I love creating art with moral teachings and politically charged nature.

For my project I have written a poem about most girls’ experiences growing up, as we mature having to unlearn the internalised misogyny imposed on us causing us to look back on previous experiences under a clearer lens raising questions of: why did I allow him to do that? Why did nobody step in? Was this situation appropriate? The poem aims to shed light on the colossal societal issue that is sexual assault and violence against women through telling real experiences but with rhyme! I then chose to pair my poem with a video performance incorporating storytelling through projections on myself. I am extremely excited to see the end result!

Taesia Mack

I’m Taesia Mack, a 17-year old poet with a passion for fighting for black rights. My creative passion is poetry and I want to make a short video with a piece of spoken word about some of the things going on in the world today.

Stevie Colluns

Stevie is a photographer living in Manchester. She’s really interested in human psychology and looks for ways to explore this in her photos.

For her final piece for this project, Stevie will be creating a series of portraits exploring mental health.