Voices

Yellowzine and The Brooklyn Brothers’ Night School 2019

Last month, fourteen young creatives graduated Night School, a free training programme that gave ethnically diverse talent the skills and confidence to break into the creative industry. Here three graduates give their take on the experience.

Night School

2019 Graduates

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Last month, fourteen young creatives graduated Night School, a free training programme that gave ethnically diverse talent the skills and confidence to break into the creative industry.

Run in partnership between creative agency The Brooklyn Brothers and Yellowzine, a platform for contemporary minority ethnic creatives, Night School provided a crash course in the creative process, the chance to develop personal manifesto projects and mentors to help each student take the next steps in their career.

We spoke to three graduates for their take on the experience.

It’s one thing for people to be different, but it’s another to have a space where people are completely free to express this difference and be their authentic true selves.

Ifé Ojomo

Ifé Ojomo

Ife.jpeg

2019 Graduate

Night School

“Write everything you can think about on the tube in three minutes” … “then in one”… “then in 30 seconds”… “then in 10 seconds”… “then in 5”…

This was one of the exercises we were challenged with on the “Narratives” week of Night School. As simple a brief as you can get. The responses? Not so simple. They ranged from anxiety, to exploration, to a lifestyle, to simply just tapping in.

To me, this writing exercise epitomised my favourite thing about Night School. The creative breadth of the people in the room. It’s one thing for people to be different, but it’s another to have a space where people are completely free to express this difference and be their authentic true selves. That’s why each week I was blown away by my fellow Night Schoolers, because there was honestly no limit to where the conversation could go.

Each week led with a theme that started with “WTF… is copywriting… or strategy… or production…” and the sessions were a mixture of lessons from our regular Brooklyn Bro’s and Yellow facilitators, but also guest tutors. They represented industry leaders such as Campaign, NTS Radio, Just So Films; the list goes on.

In terms of representation, I think the industry is at a place where conversations about diversity are becoming tiresome, especially for minorities who are often the subjects of these conversations. It cannot end with a conversation. Companies must act on all this and use it as fuel to provide fearless environments and tangible initiatives. More importantly, companies need to humble themselves and be open to being a student, not an expert. It’s okay to get things wrong.

I think this shift in narrative will provide more opportunities for the next generation.

I applied for Night School hoping to regain my joy and equip myself with a range of skills that will allow me to encounter unfamiliar aspects of myself.

Lanaire Aderemi

Lanaire Aderemi

Lanaire.jpeg

2019 Graduate

Night School

Growing up, I questioned everything. My questioning was met with a repetitive shaking of the head and accompanied with disappointment. As I took up more spaces, I became like those disappointed adults from childhood. Night School seemed like the perfect opportunity to continue asking why and to reflect on those whys.

I believe creative people are some of the most reflective people but are denied an opportunity to reflect because we live in a world that praises ‘product’ over ‘process’. I sometimes felt the joy of creating was lost to this emphasis of creating a product.

I applied for Night School hoping to regain my joy and equip myself with a range of skills that will allow me to encounter unfamiliar aspects of myself. It seemed like the past, present and future life of myself and work was finally being considered.

I left Night School with repetitive shaking of the head and more questions such as ‘What am I going to do next?’ I had an answer for this one, this time. And that answer was to keep questioning and disrupting through as many creative disciplines as possible, from poetry to music to film to theatre.

At the graduation show, I remember tasting a joy that rejuvenated me. As my poetry film was played to the audience, I smiled knowing this film started with a question and was followed by a repetitive shaking of the head, this time accompanied with a burning desire to discover my creative possibilities.

A big take-away from the Night School is that there is power in ‘imperfection’, and in the process of creating.

Nana Owusu-Ansah

Nana Owusu-Ansah

Nana.jpeg

2019 Graduate

Night School

Night School was all about learning, so here are some of the most important lessons that I would pass on to the next class of Night Schoolers.

Firstly, your creative voice has no fixed form; you don’t have to limit yourself to any one medium to be considered ‘legit’. It’s OK to experiment with film, photography, music, writing or whatever it may be in order to tell your story and amplify the stories of others.

It’s an overused saying, but for a good reason: “There is no such thing as a stupid question”. Tell yourself that every time you stop yourself from asking one! And never stop asking. It’s the “Why's” that can lead you to learning new things you would have never known about. Nuggets of wisdom can manifest themselves in the most unexpected of ways.

The intersection between you and what the world needs i.e. what you can bring to the world to make it a better place is an important nuance to understand. This helps give direction and purpose to projects you find yourself taking on. Try to find yourself in the projects you work on and understand why you care about them.

Finally, don't strive for perfection. The process of creating is more important than the actual finished product. Finding insights, motivations, thinking about who the project is for and why it is important are essential parts of the creative process. Perfection is not. A big take-away from the Night School is that there is power in ‘imperfection’, and in the process of creating.

 

Visit Yellowzine’s website to find out more about Night School, or how you can get involved or contact the team at nightschool@yellwzine.com.

Guest Author

Night School

2019 Graduates,

About

Night School is a free eight-week training programme in London designed to educate and empower a more ethnically diverse talent pool for the creative industry. Open to all 18-25-year-olds from ethnic minority backgrounds, Night School will help to unlock creative potential, provide core skills and even open doors to a future career. No experience or knowledge of the creative industries is required. All that’s needed is a curious mind, a can-do attitude and eight free evenings. Run by The Brooklyn Brothers and Yellowzine.


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