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

BYDS takes out a ZEST Award

Congratulations to BYDS’ Anjali Roberts for taking out a Zest Award (partnerships across regions category) for Mashrabiya. The project, which Anjali initiated and coordinated was funded by the Council of Australian Arab Relations (CAAR).  A series of workshops, exhibitions and lectures unfolded, exploring sacred and inclusive spaces with communities across Bankstown and Penrith. Mashrabiyaaimed to present contemporary forms of sacred art and architecture from the Arab world. The broader goal to inspire the occupants, designers and planners of our cities to contemplate and incorporate a greater sense of inclusivity.

Gifted artists Pamela Maldonaldo and Hussein Nabeel worked with Sir Joseph Banks High School students to design more inclusive, occasionally sacred spaces. Willurai Kirkbright worked with children from the Muhammadi Welfare Association in Granville. Other distinguished architects, planners and academics in the City, Bankstown and Penrith all contributed greatly: special thanks go Tim Horton, registrar of the Architects Registration Board for his unending enthusiasm and support. A really great cross region/cross artform collaboration that BYDS is proud to support.

A goodbye: I also should mention that Anjali has sadly announced her time at BYDS to be over from March 3rd. We will miss this most amazing person and look forward to hearing of her new projects at Parramatta City Council.    

BPS: First Slam of the Year

We kicked off the first Bankstown Poetry Slam of the year last night! It was a night of unexpected delights with feature poet Alice Tame, a winner of last years Grand Slam wowing the audience. 

Flip the Script: If you’re still in high school and are keen to perform to a smaller audience, consider performing at Flip the Script; A slam aimed at young people in high school. They’ll be held prior to the monthly BPS from 4:30pm to 6.00.

CONGRATULATIONS to Sara Mansour for also winning a Zest award for Outstanding Youth Leader.  The Real Talk Project also received a gong for Outstanding Project Promoting Social Cohesion and Harmony. Dynamic, passionate artists sharing their skills and love for the greater good. So impressive.  

4Elements Workshops

4Elements is making its presence felt all around Bankstown. There is a fantastic banner at the Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre and huge graffiti wall in the food court at Bankstown Central.

All the while great magic is being developed over at the Bankstown Arts Centre. Check out the weekly updates of the workshops here

The 4Elements HipHop Festival will take place on Saturday 18th of March at the Bankstown Arts Centre. Expect great things!

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.

novella project writing workshops

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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BYDS Breakdown – August Newsletter

Dear people, Spring has erupted at the beautiful Bankstown Arts Centre where BYDS are fortunately situated. The big magnolia Felix has blossomed and demonstrated, once again, how important a part nature plays in helping us humans to be happy.

Firstly, let me honour our very own Tim Bishop, Indigenous Youth Arts worker, who will be moving on to new pastures next week. May lots of love and good vibes follow him and his family as this new chapter unfolds in Tim’s life. 

As for BYDS other work, I am excited to report that we will be publishing our nextWestside in October, coordinated and edited by Filip Stempien, funded by WestWords. I have included a photo of Filip and students at Bankstown Public School engaged in an illustration workshop with artist, Stephanie Peters.

So many wonderful artistic and cultural blooms bursting and enveloping us. 

Tim Carroll, Director

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BYDS Breakdown – July Newsletter

People tell me that we are living in very dark times and it is difficult to deny that. But let me shed a little light on some activities that BYDS have been engaged in over the last month that demonstrate what excellent, local artists can achieve with community, articulating a theme of ‘working together’ that will be permeating BYDS’ work for the next year or so. 

I was really struck by Hadia Chaudhry’s poem, especially her emphatic last lines; it made me reflect that we are all in this place together, now and only now and we better make it as good as we can.

Tim Carroll, Director

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BYDS Breakdown – June Newsletter

The winter equinox has passed, the days of fasting for our Muslim brothers and sisters are short, the weather is cold and a Federal election is nigh: all this is happening whilst BYDS projects keep a certain heat and light burning.  

How do our political leaders value the Arts in this country? The Greens and Labor have promised to reinstate the funds that Senator George Brandis stripped from the Australia Council last year and to me that is enough to swing a vote one way and not the other. Think carefully before you jot down those numbers, our future is literally in your hands.

I hope that many of you can visit the Bankstown Arts Centre this coming Saturday to help us celebrate NAIDOC Bankstown style. There will be some wonderful Indigenous entertainment and the inimitable Bankstown based Munki Muk and his renegades will be in full swing by 12 midday.

Hope you can make it.

Tim Carroll, Director

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BYDS Breakdown – May Newsletter

Finally the cold weather is here. I will have to dig my winter wetsuit out again.

We always have a bit of a battle here trying to decide what to have in our newsletter, always lots of competing news – but here is a small selection of a few things we are planning or have already done.

Please stay in touch. Next newsletter I will tell you about our up-coming COMPACT funded, inter-generational Oral History Project: Stories of Strength and Resilience. No hurry, it will be running until 2018.

Tim Carroll, Director

more “BYDS Breakdown – May Newsletter”