Clapham Film Unit

A grant of £15,626 was used to provide an art and filmmaking project that enabled participation with art and film, encouraged self-expression and creativity, and promoted community inclusion.

Clapham Film Unit, formed in 2008, helps local people to tell their own stories through film. They recently created a project which brought together local young residents from different backgrounds on Stockwell Park Real Estate to integrate through a series of street art and filmmaking workshops.

In total, 80 people total accessed this project and it focused on children between the ages of 5 and 12. Classes took place in the local community centre and additionally workshops took place at a primary school nearby.

The children took classes in street art to make their own wall in Stockwell Park’s Hall of Fame, an older basketball court which has been painted over the last 15 years by world-renowned street artists. They then used digital and video cameras to document their own work.

“There are very few places where you can just come and paint. The walls are big. When are you going to do it again?”

Through the presentation via film of their art to their classmates and families, the children increased their levels of self-esteem. It also enabled the wider community to come together to see their work empowering community cohesion.

The project encouraged team work and cooperation as the kids gained respect for each other and other artists through seeing their work emerge over time. The project also gave local residents something to be proud of in their community where they live and study, and to engage with their local environment. This gave them the feeling that their neighbourhood is not just bad news, but also famous for something great.

As one resident said, “There are very few places where you can just come and paint. The walls are big. When are you going to do it again?”

Case study

One young community member had his birthday on the last street art session. This boy had problems at home and no one had celebrated with him. The fellow community members sang happy birthday to him and presented him with cards and presents at the Community Centre. The boy was very moved.

He had also been in the school session and had enjoyed being more experienced than others at the street art. His confidence and self-esteem as a result, grew over the course of the sessions.