Building Voices is Social Street’s programme of stand-alone projects working with hard-to-reach minority groups and young people. Working in partnership with local schools, charities, community groups and the local authority, Building Voices helps communities build a sense of identity, develop a voice, and self-document their culture and experiences.
Last year, in partnership with Idea Stores and the Tower Hamlets Archive Library, Building Voices delivered a photodocumentary project, asking local people to document their street market. The photographs were judged by a panel of local market traders and the shortlist was exhibited at the local library where the public could add their memories of the market. The Local Archive library received copies of the new photographs documenting Roman Road Market for their archives.
Another project included working with year 10 students at a local school on a creative project to create digital assets that would celebrate the social media phenomenon of #humpday and capture the spirit of the local area through the eyes of young people. The finished assets will be used on Roman Road LDN.
In this way community journalism works as a tool for personal development and community empowerment. Youth journalism, especially in the form of social media, offers youth new opportunities for agency and provides a means to steer young content creators to apply their agency for constructive, community-building purposes. Community generated content strengthens links between community members, community organisations and the local media, encouraging further community-building efforts.
In 2019 Building Voices will be working with local young people and community groups to develop a body of community-generated work about grime music, a form of urban music that was created in Bow by former local residents Wiley and Dizzee Rascal.