BYDS Breakdown – October Newsletter

Dear people,

It has been a few months since we have issued a BYDS newsletter. I was sadly incapacitated and hospitalised due to an injury resulting from one of my varied sporting activities. After surgery, I am on the mend and getting stuck into the huge array of wonderful opportunities that our various programs offer our community. To all of those who sent their positive thoughts to me I thank you, it definitely helped bring me back. I also turned sixty years of age and celebrated 26 years here at BYDS: a big year by most measures.

Whilst away, the incredible team that I am privileged to work with, stepped up and not only maintained but exceeded all expectations. I wish to publicly thank them for these efforts: Kevin Ngo, Craig Taunton, Zainab Kadhim, Felix Cross, Bilal Hafda, David Miller, Vyvienne Abla, Stefo Nantsou & Ola Elhassan to name a few.
I hope that you enjoy this snapshot of a few projects that are on the boil or recently completed.

As Bankstown’s longest serving professional arts organisation, matching wonderful local artists with community for much needed social change, I take great joy in presenting this newsletter.  As usual, we welcome your feedback.

Tim Carroll, Director

To Be Honest – A spectacular success

To Be Honest is BYDS first collaboration with Youth Off the Streets, Bankstown – funded by the NSW Government’s Stronger Communities Fund: Huge thanks to Amirah Amin for pushing this to become a reality.

It seems that this extraordinary show will see a new life in 2018, so I will not write too much about it now. I do need to highlight however the dramaturgical, musical and coaching brilliance of Stefo Nantsou and his cast of professional and ‘community’ actors who presented this unique show at the Bankstown Arts Centre over the week of  26th – 30th October: As usual, we sold out the season. A photo selection here

Below is a review by Diasapol Savetsila:

“Last night I had the pleasure to go see this show in Bankstown (possibly my first time there and a bloody brilliant introduction) Look, it’s been a long time since I’ve done this, but I think it’s really important to spread the word about this show. This is a verbatim show – one of the best I’ve ever seen – about homelessness, abuse, addiction, displacement, and so much more. It’s brutally honest without sacrificing humour and heart. It won’t trick you into caring, you’ll care simply because it’s honest, and deserves it. Reviewers rarely seem to write about shows outside of the big theatres. Go see this show, please. It’s one of the worthiest that I’ve seen. It isn’t by a dead white man, and it’s unapologetically present.”

Watch this space for the live music performances from the show and relive the best moments.

 

BYDS is a excited to be apart of Boundless, the first-ever festival focused on culturally diverse and Indigenous Australian writers and writing. Initiated by the NSW Writers Centre, Boundless will be held at Bankstown Arts Centre on Saturday 28 October 2017.

BYDS is recognised as one of the professional arts organisations that spearheaded community writing in Sydney’s West and helped kick start the writing careers of many award winning writers and writing facilitators through Westside. Since 1992 BYDS supported South West Syndicate (Bankstown’s first Aboriginal Hip Hop group) through the 90s to more recent support for local poets through the Bankstown Poetry Slam. We’ve paved the way for newer groups to take advantage of this foundation.

Our Boundless presentation will feature selected work from Bankstown Girls High and Bankstown Public School, developed from our Crown Resorts Foundation funded Root and Branch program, generously supported by the Sydney Story Factory. Audio and live performances celebrating this joyful work, facilitated by Felix Cross and Bilal Hafda, will be showcased. The festival will close with a special Bankstown Poetry Slam, featuring Luka Lesson!

For more information or to register your interest, visit the Eventbrite website here!

Creative cards brought to life

The Values and Skills cards are a project initiated by Ola Elhassan and Lobna Yassine in partnership with BYDS and the Dulwich Centre, Adelaide.

The cards are the first Muslim youth-appropriate cards developed in Australia: The cards include beautiful illustrations and words, developed through workshops with students from Miller and Birrong Boys High School that will prompt important conversations and discussions about the values and skills of Muslim young people living and growing up in Australia today.

We are very happy to report that we sold out our first print run of fifty sets on the day of the launch!  A new batch of cards will be available soon.

To Be Honest – new Australian theatre

New theatre shines a light on untold stories of bravery and challenge

A homeless young woman stinks of Maccas fries as she tries to sleep in her car in the middle of the day.  A boy gets sold by his mother for five thousand dollars. A man on bail tries to get his life back on track. A sister and her brother fight to keep each other in their lives.

All these amazing stories are explored in ‘To Be Honest’: a new Australian theatre work created in collaboration with young people from Canterbury Bankstown and presented by BYDS. Written and directed by Stefo Nantsou, the show examines contemporary stories of cultural displacement, homelessness, cycles of crime and the challenging struggles of some young people living extraordinary lives around the Canterbury Bankstown area.

more “To Be Honest – new Australian theatre”

BYDS Breakdown – July Newsletter

Dear people,

I had a wonderful trip overseas during April and May. It now seems like a long time ago but images of Sri Lanka and Ireland do flit through my mind, refreshing me during this Sydney Winter. Whilst I was away the work of BYDS in community continued unabated with Kevin, Felix, Vyvienne, Craig, Bilal and Zainab all doing great things in their respective projects. Of particular note was Bankstown Poetry Slam who ran their Real Talk program with nine high schools. The Real Talk finale was something wonderful to be involved in and made me realise yet again why BPS is so important. Thanks to the Scanlon social cohesion fund for making that program happen again in 2017.

Tim Carroll, Director

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BYDS Breakdown – February Newsletter

Dear people, I had a lovely week away at Culburra on the South Coast. I had time to reflect on our own place in history as well as the great beauty that nature permits us to experience on a daily basis. We all know that everything must pass, bad politicians, sad times, love and happiness, but sometimes we need a wake-up call to reinforce that belief and I luckily had mine. 

In that same vein, I saw BPS co-founder Sara Mansour’s grandma perform a beautiful, heartfelt poem in Arabic that I could not understand, only feel. It was the standout performance at the Bankstown Poetry Slam last night for me and highlights why we do the work that we do. She took the stage as an equal alongside experienced spoken word artists and received the biggest applause of the evening.

On a daily basis here at BYDS we facilitate projects that enable: young men to learn how to be respectful to women, school students to step out of their every day and work with highly trained passionate artists – making music, making text and song – we enable young artists to step up and learn new skills, instilling confidence that results in greater ability to be creative in every area of their lives, helps us think outside the boxes or boxes that are made for us and by us.  

Tim Carroll, Director

Writing workshops! Get your story published – Novella Project 2017

Writing Workshops in Bankstown!

BYDS is extremely excited to offering writing workshops in partnership with the Sydney Story Factory. One of the two projects we will be working on with them is the Novella Project writing workshop. Young writers aged 13-17 will have the opportunity to be mentored and guided to have a novella published by the end of the year. The writing workshops, held weekly at the Bankstown Arts Centre, will see experienced workshop facilitators offering advice and editorial assistance to the workshop participants.

The workshops will run for the entire year. By the end of the workshops, each participant will take home a copy of their own novella which will also be on sale at the Martian Embassy in Redfern. We look forward working with the Sydney Story Factory to share the stories of young people in the Canterbury-Bankstown area.

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BYDS Breakdown – January Newsletter

Dear people,

Welcome to 2017 and our first newsletter. The weather has been as crazy as Sydney can be and our gardens and the bush respond scarily to the high temperatures. This heat is also reflected in the ugly politics swirling so relentlessly around us. I publicly re-state BYDS’ commitment to being on the side of compassion and justice and calling out hate speech whenever we encounter it. Life is way too short to deal in it or perpetuate it.

We feel really great about what we achieved over 2016 and look forward to growing the many great projects that we are currently running. Of course they will involve large numbers of local young people who will be writing short stories, recording and editing oral histories, reciting poetry, creating illustrations, making and performing theatre, HipHop and more.

We have a truly great team that will facilitate this: Felix Cross, Bilal Hafda, Zainab Kadhim, Vyvienne Abla, BPS, Craig Taunton, Christopher Woes, Anjali Roberts and our wonderful volunteers

I hope you can be a part of our year ahead as participant or audience and promise you some wonderful, profound art.

Tim Carroll, Director

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BYDS Breakdown – December Newsletter

Dear people,

Halfway through December now, moving towards 2017. Our indoor plants provide us with sweet oxygen and greenery and are immune from the crazy hot days we just experienced. These beautiful plants and our worm farm remind me once again of how much we depend on nature to give us a life to live and how we must also think of how our day to day activities stress the biosphere.

With this in mind, we look forward to a huge year in 2017 with performance projects; The Bond, writing and illustration with Root and Branch, HipHop through 4ELEMENTS and RESPECT and community stories through COMPACT being given a new life to share through podcast, image and passion.

2016 was a crazily productive year that you can all read about in our annual report. All of us here at BYDS wish our readers a happy holiday and hope the season gives you time to reflect on the importance of friends and family. 

Tim Carroll, Director

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BYDS Breakdown – November Newsletter

The first few truly hot days have arrived in Bankstown and all around I hear the sounds of birds in the big fig trees as new baby fledglings learn to fly. Ravens, Currawongs and our resident Butcher bird all compete for food and other resources as the cycle of life continues unabated.

Like many, we feel a sense of change with the news from the US and steel ourselves to continue to make art with communities that challenge misogyny, racism and fear all with a sense of wonder and joy. It is not the end of the world, just a new and challenging time. Hold on for an potentially interesting ride.

Tim Carroll, Director

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BYDS Breakdown – October Newsletter

Best of luck to everyone beginning their HSC today! Let’s hope all of that study has paid off. It’s interesting to see yet another cohort of young people move into that post-school phase of their lives. . So many wonderful opportunities await and we hope to stay in contact with the hundreds of young people who have been involved in BYDS’ projects over the years… they roll on and on.

It did seem like summer was coming, but something happened and I am wearing layers again, the magnolia below came and went, but native plants are blooming and you can feel the new life blasting greenly, gently into the world.

BYDS are now geographically a part of Canterbury Bankstown City Council; the largest LGA in NSW, more people than Tasmania they say. What opportunities might exist in that for BYDS? A re-brand? 20,000 + young people to work with? I think it might be a good time to think a little outside the standard box. It might get interesting over the next few months.

Tim Carroll, Director

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