promoting communication between the generations
"It confirms my own experience of life that the young generation are in tune with us older people as we are with them. They are a credit to their generation and a reassurance to the future. We are in good hands ..." Project Participant
In early 2010 Charity Shop DJ was asked to create a bespoke project for Northampton Volunteering Centre : one that would help to create new communication between people of different ages and from different parts of the city, and that would help to increase the numbers of volunteers involved in projects in the city.
Over the course of 2 weeks artists Owain Wilson, Nicci Wilson and Andy Jupp worked in 3 different locations across the city, using music, lyrics, and visual arts to explore how experiences of life can be similar across generations and groups and individuals.
The project brought together the pupils of Kingsthorpe Community College, and older people from across the city, including the residents of St. Crispin Retirement Village, Northampton.
"Old man look at my life. I’m a lot like you ..." Neil Young
Participants created questionnaires to find out about each other, as well as producing their own video and photographic records of the day. They even devised their own dance steps in response to each other's music.
"It showed me older people and younger people aren't so different after all" ... Younger Project Participant
During the course of the project, invention ran wild as participants designed sleeve art for the first record release of their very own imaginary bands.
"I see teenagers in a different light now ..." Older Project Participant
Sessions were also recorded for the school radio project “ Radio Club “, and the school and retirement village are now looking to bring their choirs together for a further collaborative project. Watch this page for excerpts from the "Radio Club" recordings.
"We were expecting them to be deaf, to fall asleep all the time and to be in wheelchairs. We didn’t expect them to be dancing. Young people aren't so different, we easily got along." Kingsthorpe College student
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Here's the artwork produced by the younger and older people working together in workshops. Each group produced artwork for the very first record releases of their own imaginary bands.
By mixing and matching the old and the new, a common ground was discovered and new friendships forged. In the words of the Kingsthorpe Students: "Kingsthorpe College and St Crispin Retirement Village United!"...
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What People Said
Older people about younger:
"They were fantastic today - the young lads were so outgoing and confident and knew so much about music".
"I see teenagers in a different light now – different to how we were. In our day lads climbed trees and went out playing all day. They are so much more confident than we were then."
Younger people about older people:
"Some people know a lot more music than I thought."
"It showed me older people and younger people aren't so different after all."
From the Northampton Volunteering Centre:
"I wasn't sure what I was expecting for each session but it definitely exceeded it. The project worked brilliantly ! " Northampton Volunteering Centre Project Leader.
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Drawing on previous work with Nottingham Trent University (NTU), this project was commissioned by Northampton Volunteering Centre as part of the Government "Generations Together" initiative.
Charity Shop DJ would like to thank the Northampton Volunteering Centre and all project participants for an unforgettable time.