Seen But Seldom Heard documentary premiere

Posted on Friday, December 7 2012

Audience watch the Seen But Seldom Heard documentary at premiere

A documentary about an innovative poetry project run by Bournemouth University (BU) has been premiered.

The Seen But Seldom Heard project was set up by academics from BU’s Media School and School of Health and Social Care, and aims to give a voice to young people living with disabilities.

Along with performance poets Liv Torc and Johnny Fluffypunk, they have been working with young people from the Victoria Education Centre in Poole – running poetry workshops to encourage them to explore their experiences of living with a disability.

The documentary follows the project from the beginning and features interviews with the young people, staff and poets involved, as well as footage from the workshops and performances the young people were involved with.

Carrie Hodges, senior lecturer in Communication and Culture at BU, who has helped coordinate Seen But Seldom Heard, said: “We will be using the film to support our message and disseminate our work.

“It has already received a lot of interest and we are hoping to take it to a variety of public events and possibly do a schools tour next year.”

Wendy Cutts, who lectures in Community Development and Sociology at BU and also helped coordinate the project, added: “If somebody said at the beginning that it would end like this, I wouldn’t have believed them.

“I always thought it was a good idea but it is wonderful to see it get to this stage.”

The Seen But Seldom Heard documentary premiered at BU’s Talbot Campus on Friday, as part of a series of events for Disability History Month.

Among guests at the premiere was MP Annette Brooke, who represents Mid-Dorset and West Poole.

She said she thought the documentary was “amazingly powerful”.

“They were saying that they are not vegetables – I’m a person, I have a voice and my wheelchair doesn’t define me. I think it is incredible.”

Other guests at the premiere included representatives from BU and Victoria Education Centre and the young people’s families and friends.

Annie Caldwell, drama teacher at the Victoria Education Centre, said that she had seen a huge change in the pupils since they started the project.

“Any forum for our kids to get out there and be able to say what they want to say is amazing,” she said.

“It has been great for them to have the chance to talk about their disabilities and take a look at themselves and celebrate who they are.

“It’s been brilliant to see them opening up and having the chance to perform their work and spread the message.”

An anthology of the pupils’ work is on sale for £5 and proceeds will help pay for poetry workshops to continue at the school.

“It’s been brilliant to see them opening up and having the chance to perform their work and spread the message.”

For more information, and to see a taster trailer of the documentary, visit: