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This videoed conversation with two young spoken word artists, Ryan Sinclair and Sipho Ndlovu, took place in Autumn 2022 and explored their motivations to pursue what many would view currently as a precarious career in the creative and cultural industries. The project was prompted by findings from a doctoral research study undertaken by Jill Robinson in collaboration with Beatfreeks, a youth engagement organisation founded in Birmingham by Anisa Morridadi in 2013. It uses creative practices to build young people’s confidence and competences and open up opportunities for them to disrupt the unequal power relationship between them and policymakers. There was no ‘dry run’ for the recording as Jill wanted Ryan and Sipho to speak in the moment and not come with well-prepared responses to questions provided in advance; hence the pauses and stops and starts on the recording as each of them take time to reflect before answering. Inter alia, they consider how their own experiences of growing up in Birmingham have shaped their interest in music and spoken word and how these have enabled them to make their own and other young people's voices not only to be heard but listened to by those with decision-making powers over their daily lives Ryan and Sipho will perform their poetry as part of the launch event for this special issue on 10 March 2023. Details will be made available shortly.
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