Inspired Youth and York Mediale joined forces with Digital Creativity Labs at York University in an extension to The One Percent project, to explore data in relation to leaving care and the journey to independence. Shauna Concannon and Tash Rajan explain.
Nelson Mandela noted that “The true character of a society is revealed in how it treats its children.”(1) Those who experience care are truly raised by the society they find themselves in; subject to changes of place, parents and political policy.
Below: Jade & Shelly exploring care journeys with the digital labs team.
At Digital Creativity Labs we’re creating a data driven short film, showing the human side of the stacks of data that separate councils hold about their care policies. As Shauna Concannon, interdisciplinary researcher at DC labs, explains;
“While there are increasing moves by the government and councils to make their data more open and their processes more transparent, making data truly accessible and meaningful can be challenging. We are researching the potential of video in creating data-driven stories that can be personalised to a viewer. Supporting individuals to engage with the increasing amounts of data that exists about them and the society we live in. Good video stories don’t just inform, they entertain. So we’re keen to find out how the personalised and interactive approach of the Perspective Media2 project can illuminate the human experience and the quantitative patterns inherent in data relating to the experiences of care leavers.”
Below: Jade, one of the care leavers informing the digital stories with her experiences.
We’re hoping to show our audience the impact of local policies in their area, as experiences of care can differ drastically depending on where you live. Through this we’ll equip communities to better understand the social need in their areas so that they can join in together in creating change for the better. Whether that looks like lobbying for policy change, or simply more awareness in how the care system works and the experiences of those who go through it.
As part of our research for the project we’ve been working with Inspired Youth, talking to Care Leavers about their experiences. Having studied how individual councils treat Care Leavers it has become abundantly clear that society is failing those who have experienced care. However, when talking to the young people it was their determination to shape their own futures and achieve their goals that shone through.
“Having studied how individual councils treat Care Leavers it has become abundantly clear that society is failing those who have experienced care. However, when talking to the young people it was their determination to shape their own futures and achieve their goals that shone through.”
They’ve had to work against a system which should be designed to support them, and they’re proud of what they’ve achieved. It’s an impressive feat to build a stable life from rocky foundations; navigating the bureaucracy of the government and pursuing a future career all in the same year you’re allowed to buy your first pint. Not to mention dealing with the increasing difficulties young people are facing nationwide.
Below: Shelly, another care leaver sharing her experiences to shape the digital story.
Most of us would agree that the world would be a better place if we could come together to fight each other’s corners when we need it most. If projects like The One Percent can show what that could look like for us as a Nation, we can make that ideal a reality.
Learning from those who have experienced care and seeing what a benefit they are to their own communities. Wider society teaches us that we should strive for individualism, but, in a world with a loneliness epidemic, rising stress levels and huge uncertainty about the future, can we afford to take such little care of each other?
(1) Launch of the Blue Train, Worcester Station, Worcester, South Africa, Sept. 27, 1997