Author: R. Kippen & R. Coughlan

Welcome to The Future is Ours festival celebrating youth creativity!

The Future Is Ours festival celebrates young people’s creativity, voice and action in 2020 and features original artworks by over 130 young people shared online and on billboards and street posters across Manchester. During the festival 16-26 November works were launched online and now all the amazing artworks, interviews, video performances and literature are available to enjoy in your own time below.

The Horsfall’s Creative Producer Rod Kippen says: “In a year where young people have been ignored, disrupted and blamed. One of the few spaces for their voice has been through creativity and art. We want to celebrate what they've created and hear what they have to say.”


Art Makes You Feel Better
Sophia collaborated with artists Anna Horton Cremin and Jamie-Lee Waiman to create the Art Action Room, an art event and evolving collaborative art space which explores bullying, empowerment and emotional expression. 

Click and drag this video to look around the space! It’s a 360°!

Caitlin Keating - Message For The Future
The pairing of two very different artists resulted in some incredible work and and a unique process for the two artists.  Caitlin works with fine detailed drawings and Billy Colours works on large scale pubic art pieces. Caitlin decided on the theme of finding light in the darkness and beauty in unexpected places.


Millie Gator - Message For The Future
In this project Millie out with an initial goal of creating an aesthetically beautiful, bright and uplifting piece of work that would be seen by many, and send out a message of community, empowerment, and togetherness. 


Art and Recovery - Message For The Future
For the second of our #TheFutureIsOurs Message For The Future we have a collaboration between young artist and photographer Caitlin and artist and theatre maker Mark Croasdale. This is what Caitlin had to say about their piece…

“The message I wanted to get across was to show the process that comes in the middle of a journey before you reach the end. I’m still in recovery for cancer and it’s not been as easy as I thought it would. I kept getting frustrated but once I began to pay attention to the idea of progress rather than perfection that’s when I began to feel better about my recovery. This journey is not a race but rather a marathon. 

“I understand that I don’t have the best artistic talent in this world, however I began to realise that once you realise the truth that perfection is not available to us, the sooner we can begin to live better and happier lives. 

“I believe art and creativity is important in the world because not only does it create so many jobs but it allows us to communicate messages and our own feelings to others. 
“I believe young people should be listened to. The foundations have already been laid for us but we’re the ones who will be the next leaders, future educators and ones to expand our knowledge on the world as we know it whether it be through be through travel, music, science or  art.” 

Life Can Be  A Circle - A Message For The Future
For our #TheFutureIsOurs Message For The Future we have a collaboration between young artist and photographer Luna and artist and poet Louis Glazzard

Luna and Louis share a love of the tarot cards as a way to raise questions of how you view yourself and your life. The pair worked on the images of traditional tarot with more personal aspects of Luna’s past. The cards support people to look at past, present and future as non-linear in terms of recovery or changes in wellbeing and rather a flow where even in difficult times we can look to see that these feelings are temporary and we can and will feel better again.

Luna says: “I wanted my work to give a message of hope, the idea that things pass. The quote ‘life can be a circle’ felt poignant as it suggests that after difficult times things can be better again."​

​This artwork will be displayed as an electronic billboard across Manchester. 


You Are Not Alone In This - A Message For The Future
This Message For The Future young artist we have Sam, who worked with visual artist Lizzie Chapman to create a beautiful piece to inspire hope during this time and offer support to people who might be struggling with their mental health. This artwork will be displayed as an electronic billboard across Manchester.


Noorie’s Lightbulb - A Message For The Future
Noor Rubani has collaborated with writer and founder of For Book’s Sake Jane Claire Bradley to create Noorie’s Lightbulb Moments, a zine sharing her learnings and reflections from life experiences as a young woman of South Asian descent with a commitment to social justice and personal growth.
Read the zine, Noorie’s Lightbulb here

Noor Rubani ' I have produced a zine about my journey learning and meandering my way through life. About learning what’s right and wrong, and more importantly what’s right for me. I wanted to inspire the younger generation, notably targeting a South Asian young female (as that is my own identity). Growing up, there was not a lot of material out there for me. I love to read and to broaden my horizons, and being a young person in Manchester I felt I was limited to aspiring to be like women who could not understand my culture and my identity. Therefore, though I found this zine difficult and a piece of my heart invested in it, I wrote it with the intention of sharing some of the experiences which has shaped me to be who I am today: 25 years old, healthy and happy, and continuing my social justice journey.'


Angerzine - A Message For The Future
​Rosie Sharkey has created the first Angerzine – a space for her and other young people to express what makes them angry. Working with artist Tasha Whittle, they used collage and drawing to create work that juxtaposes images and raises questions about our current society and gives young people’s views on what needs to change. The printing of the zine was made using eco-friendly paper and inks .


Weird - A Message For The Future
Young artist 'A' worked with artist Paul Gent to create a piece supporting the feeling of being weird.

The artists explored the work of Heroniuous Bosch, Terry Gilliam, Andy Warhol, Quentin Blake and  talked through the benefits and fun of being weird. Difference or weirdness are great skills for artists – to see things in another light and put different things together helps artists to have a unique voice.

Many of our young artists wanted to convey acceptance in their work – to communicate to others that it is ok to be you. Many of our young people feel judged or expected to be a certain way by society, education and social media.  Notions of success and having ‘the lifestyle’ also came through in conversations. Through creativity and the arts we have spaces where we can be different, can succeed and explore other ways to be. 

The artist tried various methods to look into how to present this and ended up exploring colour contrasts to make this striking image using non-traditional colours, a great example of using weird colours in a simple but powerful portrait. 


Shannon Westacott - Poet in Residence 
​Shannon is a writer whose work primarily explores mental health, relationships and the spaces we live in and call home. She is particularly interested in using writing as a form of self care and often develops pieces from diary entries, creating fragments of prose poetry and free verse work. 

Find more of Shannon's work on her Instagram page here: @wordstogrow



Bronte Palmer - Artist in Residence
This artwork is a collaboration between Bronte Palmer and Tom Costello.

Bronte said: 'In this digital era where young people are taught to judge their self worth against their self image, my masks offer me a barrier of safety, a way to express myself without being judged by my appearance. I believe identity is ever changing and gender is malleable so my faces allow me the space for change, growth and mistakes.'

'For me my faces form parts of my identity. They are parts of me that are frozen in time,  an amalgamation of versions of me.
As they evolve I evolve. I hope that my faces allow people to see themselves in a new way, question who they really are and understand that we all have the power to create ourselves.'


Q42 and Anna Phylactic Virtual Pride
Continuing our #TheFutureIsOurs celebration of work that our groups have done this year we've got another film for you. The Q42 Project worked with Anna Phylactic for the their virtual pride this year, check out their film for it here!

Local and beloved drag queen, Anna Phylactic shows off her brilliant knowledge and skills followed by some incredible drag performances! 

Film 42
Film 42 empowers young Black men to explore mental health through filmmaking. The films they created are part of a campaign which seeks to change the way young Black men access services and how services in turn support them. Watch the film below and on our YouTube playlist here. 


Creative Youth
Creative Youth are a young creative collective who have been working together for #TheFutureIsOurs since the start of July. Before lockdown they met to create placards to remind the government that their education, voice and mental health matters and young peoples futures should not be forgotten about during lockdown.

Watch them perform their poetry and songs on our YouTube playlist.


Henry Franks - Artist In Residence
My name is Henry Franks and I work with my friend and collaborator Michael Mardy, we have worked on multiple pieces together, trying to combine our preferred mediums of photography and graphic design as well as experimenting along with a selection of other physical and digital tools that we see fit within the curated themes we have been set.

As well as street posters Henry has also created a zine looking at how we have adapted to recent events that have locked us away.

Creative Youth Posters
The Creative Youth group worked with several young artists and activists to develop their themes around Mental Health, youth voice and Education. Here are the posters that they designed for the work. #TheFutureIsOurs




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