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Schools invited to record Lockdown videos for Time Capsule Project

Schools and colleges in the UK are being invited by the Anna Freud Centre to join a global project to capture young people’s experience of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Coronavirus Time Capsule is a project by Company Three and supported by the Anna Freud Centre which is encouraging children and young people to create new videos to give us an insight into young people’s experience of lockdown.

The videos are by turn exhilarating, funny and moving as they explore the everyday experiences of children and young people as they are lived, giving air to a perspective that has often been lacking in the news-led adult-centred media.

The project was launched in the first week of lockdown in the UK by Company Three and is now being extended, in collaboration with the Anna Freud Centre, to encourage participation from schools.

Schools are invited to download a blueprint for making a time capsule which includes set of 25 video-making challenges for pupils and students to contribute to the real time recording of children and young people’s experiences. Pupils and students then choose the videos they wish to make.

The challenges fall into five themes, each with five ideas. The themes are:

  • The beginning which includes ideas such as introducing the time capsule and creating an exhibition of 5-10 objects in your home.
  • Home life include ideas such as making a wildlife documentary, a fashion show, or making a two minute film about a view from a window.
  • School in which children and young people can write and read out to camera a love letter to their school or recreate the ‘What I’m really doing’ meme in which they film themselves from for different perspectives:
    • What my teachers think I’m doing.
    • What my parent(s) think I’m doing.
    • What the prime minister thinks I’m doing.
    • What I’m really doing.
  • Daily life which includes challenges to make films about food, friends or letting off steam.
  • The future which invites vidoegraphers to create a manifesto about how they would like the world to change when lockdown is over.

Dr Roslyn Law, Clinical Consultant Psychologist at the Anna Freud Centre said that as well as providing a record of children and young people’s views during this unprecedented time, the project could support them through the lockdown: “The Coronavirus Time Capsule helps to build resilience, wellbeing and social capital. It helps young people organise themselves, reinforces a sense of belonging and promotes self-esteem.

“It gives voice to young people’s experience in a way that will inform and educate well beyond the limits of each group.

“At a time when our individual worlds have been shrinking, Company Three have created an opportunity for young people to reach out and expand their social networks through a common purpose. This is prevention in action and will provide an invaluable record of lived experience.”

Ned Glasier, Artistic Director, of Company Three said: “At the heart of all our work at Company Three is the wellbeing of the teenagers we work with. A crucial part of that is engaging them in creative activities that give them a space to express themselves. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Anna Freud Centre to promote the compact time capsule - which we know will help thousands of teenagers through this difficult time."

All the materials are available free from the Company Three website and are aimed primarily at 11-19 but are easily adapted for slightly younger children.

Schools can choose to retain their videos, exclusively for internal use or share them with Company Three who have created an archive of materials created by hundreds of young people, which will be posted on their website. Some of the videos can be watched here.

Originally formed as Islington Community Theatre in 2008 Company Three exists to give teenagers the power to make their own change and tell their own stories. 

Made up of a company of 75 young people aged 11-19 they make theatre through long-term, intensive collaboration between members and professional theatre-makers. Company Three are based in Islington, North London, one of the most diverse and unequal boroughs in the UK. Members are nominated by local teachers, youth workers and social workers as young people who are particularly likely to benefit from the work.