Looking Back, Moving Forward at Our Final Event of 2017

On December 19th, The Kickback joined with Poetic Insight for the first time for our final event of 2017, ‘Looking Back, Moving Forward’.  This was the time for us to have a conversation that looked back at another year of Young People Insight and considered how we could move forward, followed by poetry from amazing talent.

I started off by asking regular participants of YPI what their favourite thing about YPI was this year and what topics they most enjoyed talking about.  Alana’s favourite topic was Synthetic Beauty vs Natural Beauty, as she enjoyed listening to people and getting insight from others.  Andrae thought Culture was really important, because it is still going on right now.  Jamal really liked Life Goals, as he enjoyed having the opportunity to give insight and make new connections.

After looking back at what we spoke about this year, I wanted to know what topics individuals would like to see discussed at The Kickback next year.  Ideas included were:

  • Politics
  • What do you think of Donald Trump being president?
  • Travel and culture
  • Healthy relationships, also covering child sexual exploitation and paedophilia
  • How society determines your age
  • Image perception
  • Health, also covering obesity
  • What is poetry, which could be combined with Poetic Insight
  • Youth violence
  • Parallel realities
  • Going to uni does not lead to success in life
  • Purpose/existence

Coming up with topics was great and got me excited for next year, as dynamic and thoughtful discussions were taking place simply as we were choosing particular topics.  When talking about youth violence, Omar made a really great point, expressing that we’re all leaders in our own way and that we should be our own leader.

Another recommendation was a return to the topic of mental health, which was partly raised by representatives from OASIS, a local health service that offers support to young people aged 14-35, who are experiencing psychological distress and also does community work.

We are hoping that Carolyn, Sharon and Isaac from OASIS will be returning to lead out on a Kickback session next year and maybe put on a workshop of some kind, as we can definitely learn from them and they seem to understand how YPI can aid good mental health in young people.  Isaac thinks that the arts are a beautiful way of expressing themselves, while Carolyn believes that writing and performing has a really important impact on people’s well-being.

Beverly also responded to what Carolyn said about writing, telling us, “Writing is beautiful for me.  I can write what I feel inside of me.”

I also wanted to know what themes others wanted covered at Poetic Insight next year.  Recommendations were:

  • Existence
  • The Dark Side/Shadow Side
  • Survival
  • Dreams and Goals

When I asked what other events participants would like to see put on, Alana suggested debate nights and team building, while Jamal strongly put forward networking events.  We also spoke about what other organisations or individuals to approach to speak at future events or run workshops, as well as how others wanted to get involved.

We didn’t touch too much on what could be improved, although conversations were had about boosting the social media presence and maybe adapting the time that The Kickback begins.  However, I still would like to get advice on what improvements can be made and what else you may want to see happen over 2018.

After wrapping up our conversation and getting a little social, it was time to enjoy some poetry to see out YPI in 2017 just as it had begun.  Alana was first on stage with two incredibly open and honest poems that we all appreciated, followed by Jamal who shared two powerful pieces that had everyone entranced.

Lady Poe graced the Poetic Insight stage for the first time, captivating us with her beautiful words and deep imagery.  Diego returned for the second time, going real deep with a raw spoken word performance about family and life in the ends.

Miss Yankey returned to perform two fire spoken word pieces and Annotate finished off the night strong, sharing a beautifully personal poem about a friend who got stabbed.

It was another special night of inspiration and getting to know new faces, paving the way for even bigger things in 2018.  We’ll be back on January 16th, celebrating two years of YPI with a very special edition of The Kickback from 6.30-9pm.  The celebrations will continue on January 30th for a special edition of Poetic Insight, which will bring in music alongside poetry.  If you want to perform, send a message to 07910092565 or email shaniquab29@yahoo.co.uk

Thank you to everyone who has been part of the journey and taken time to read the blog this year.  Have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I’m looking forward to seeing you in 2018.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.

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