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  • Posted 27 July 2021

    Final selection announced for 81 Minutes: Acts of Exuberantly Defiant Young Activists

    In a jury-panel last week, LIFT’s UpLIFTers (young Tottenham residents aged between 16-18 who LIFT has been collaborating with for the past six years) decided on the final selection of films to be included in 81 Minutes: Acts of Exuberantly Defiant Young Activists. 81 Minutes is part of LIFT LOVES LONDON, LIFT’s summer season of art to recharge the city and renew your London.


    The project is a collaboration between the UpLIFTers and alumni of the Advocacy Academy, a social justice youth organising movement for young people from South London. The UpLIFTers selected four films from a shortlist of films created by Advocacy Academy alumni, making their selection based upon a range of criteria including originality, cinematography, performance and advocacy.


    The collaboration brings together young people from North and South London to share skills and grow their networks, as well as providing a springboard for purposeful discussions around the causes and issues that they care about.


    The project forms part of 81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance, a creative and cultural commemoration of the Brixton uprising of 1981.


    The final selection of four shorts will be edited into a single film and made available to view (for free) via the LIFT and 81 Acts websites from 29th July until 28th October 2021.


    The chosen shorts are:


    You Are Able to Break the Label                           

    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 the film he wanted to show people with similar backgrounds to him, so that you 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.



    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.


    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 and is looking forward to getting stuck into running and designing programmes. Betty is also part of a writing team working on television shows with BAFTA award-winning writer Adam Tyler, and works as a young consultant for grant-maker Esmeé Fairbairn Foundation.


    Our Collective Reality

    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

    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.


    Six other films created by Advocacy Academy alumni were highly commended by the UpLIFTers. These are:


    • Now I can Breathe, nominated for a Children’s BAFTA, is Amina Roberts’ film about sexual harassment in schools.





    • Decolonising The Curriculum, created by Akhera Williams, Sam Koffi and the Fill in The Blanks team, argues that the way colonialism is taught in schools needs to change.


    • Hijab and Me is Ilhan Yonis’ film about the meaning of the hijab and the status of women in Islam.



    Read more about the collaboration between LIFT and the Advocacy Academy here.


    To be notified when the films are available online, sign up to LIFT’s newsletter.


    Image: a still from Excluded.


    81 Minutes: Acts of Exuberantly Defiant Young Activists is supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.


    Esmée Fairbairn Foundation logo