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  • Finished 29 July – 30 November


    Short films chosen by young Londoners.   

    81 minutes was a collection of docu-style videos, created and curated by young Londoners aged 17-26, and made available for free from 29 July – 30 November 2021. 

    LIFT’s UpLIFTers, our group of Tottenham 17–19-year-olds joined creative forces with 18–26-year-olds from Advocacy Academy (AA), the UK’s only campus of youth activism, as part of 81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance – a cultural commemoration of the Brixton Uprisings of 1981.

    Using existing content supplied by over 30 young AA Advocates, The UpLIFTers selected four films from a shortlist created by Advocacy Academy alumni, making their selection based upon a range of criteria including originality, cinematography, performance and advocacy. They then came together in a structured jury panel to curate a final shortlist of films of powerful advocacy from the most urgent young voices of London.

    The collection brought a moment of focus to youth activism and the innovative approaches of young people to the local and global issues that matter to them.   


    Featured in the Film:

    You Are Able to Break the Label: 00.00.30 – 00.07.20 

    Created as part of the Almeida Theatre’s Figures of Speech, You Are Able To Break The Label is a speech by Darren Keenen on appearance-based prejudice.

    Darren is from Brixton and really wants to have a career in campaigning and politics. In his speech he wanted to show people with similar backgrounds to him that they can break the label. He joined the Advocacy Academy and Campaign Bootcamp and it really opened his eyes to some of the injustices people and groups are facing, driving him to want to help bring about equality.


    Excluded: 00.07.21 – 00.53.48                    

    Created by EachOther, a UK-focused charity that uses independent journalism, storytelling and filmmaking to put the human into human rights, Excluded explores the human rights violations experienced by young people who have been temporarily excluded, permanently excluded, indirectly excluded, and those that had never been excluded – often referred to as ‘the other 29’ in a class.

    EachOther’s first long-form documentary only features the voices of young people – those who are most affected by exclusion – who share their stories and views on this complex issue, who were also employed as consultants and researchers on the film. Their voices and solutions, concerns and experiences are at the heart of this work.

    One of the Co-Creators is Betty Mayo a 22-year-old Advocacy Academy alumnus from South London. Betty did the Advocacy Academy social justice fellowship as an angry 16-year-old, and it completely transformed her ambitions. Betty is a recent Politics and International Relations graduate from the University of Nottingham. She will be joining the Advocacy Academy as a movement leader in November.


    Our Collective Reality: 00.53.50 – 00.56.27

    Created as part of the Almeida Theatre’s Figures of Speech, Our Collective Reality is a speech by Erica DaSilva on institutional discrimination against foreigners within the UK.

    Erica is a Portuguese first-generation immigrant passionate about the impact of the media’s influential narrative on society’s key institutions. An alumnus of the Advocacy Academy, Erica wants to change the way society views immigrants by inspiring people to define their own realities, rather than letting the media do it for them.


    We The People: 00.56.29 – 1.30.54

    A Museum of London commission, supported using public funding by Arts Council England, We The People explores themes of activism and community, past and present. The film follows six inspiring conversations between Brixton-based activists and grassroots organisers, young and less young, who are making positive change at a local level.

    Advocacy Academy alumni Martins Banjo, Ajuub Faraji, Semilore Orekoya, Davida Afriye, Jemmar Samuels, Angie Lorena Gomez, Shiden Tekele and Betty Pearl Mayo collaborated with producers and directors Fan Sissoko and Virginia Nimarkoh, and Creative Director of The Advocacy Academy Tom Ross-Wilkins, to create We The People.

    Credits: 01.30.55 – 01.30.55


    Creative Team and Thanks

    Curation and Jury Panellists

    The UpLIFTers:






    Curation and Delivery: Patricia Dzigbordi Akoli – Assistant Producer (Young People)

    Creative Direction: Stella Kanu – Executive Director

    Alex Rowse – Creative Producer

    Alice Sewell – Head of Communication and Audiences

    With the support of the LIFT Team

    The Advocacy Academy:

    Fopé Olaleye – Political Education and Campaigns Officer

    Rhianna Ilube – Changemaker & Artist-In-Residence

    The Advocacy Academy Advocates and Alumni


    Andy Tomlinson

    With Thanks To:

    We The People: Tom Ross-Williams – Creative Director of the Advocacy Academy, Fan Sissoko – Producer & Director, Virginia Nimarkoh – Producer & Director, The We The People Creative Team, The Almeida Theatre: Dani Parr – Director of Participation and Work for Young People, Simon Stephens – Participation Producer, The Almeida Theatre and Figure of Speech Creative Teams, EachOther: Sarah Wishart – Creative Director, Jack Satchell – Film Producer, The EachOther Team and special thanks to The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

    LIFT is a national portfolio organisation supported by Arts Council England.


    There will be an evening in late September to meet and celebrate the curation. The collection of films will be available via the LIFT, 81 Acts and Advocacy Academy websites.



    LIFT is following government and industry guidelines to ensure we are creating safe environments for audiences, participants, artists and staff. You can read more details about our safety measures on our Covid Guidelines page.

    Artists: The UpLIFTers and The Advocacy Academy (London, UK)

    The series of videos was available to view from 29 July until 30 November 2021