Earlier this month the Savera UK Youth hosted their annual event as part of UK Parliament Week.
They also launched their 2023 exhibition #EndHBA&HarmfulPractices to raise awareness and explore the impact of ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) and harmful practices.
Savera UK Youth is a group of 11 – 25 year-olds dedicated to ending ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices. After the success of their 2019 #ENDFGM exhibition, first developed in 2019, the group wanted to explore other elements of HBA and harmful practices using similar creative outlets, which was delivered earlier this summer and facilitated by two artists Andrew “AB” Abrahamson and Ali Harwood.
Both artists worked with the young people using a variety of artworks, including photography, painting and poetry.
Speaking of the project, AB said “We had the opportunity to explore themes in photography as well as play with disposable cameras, to practise what we had learnt [and] chose a theme from what they learnt about Savera UK’s work.”
Using these techniques, the young people designed an image then created them using a range of props and materials. While Ali Harwood focused on using painting and poetry to bring the young people’s ideas to fruition.
Chains being broken, wings spreading, and butterflies featured consistently during the workshop by the young people, representing their feelings towards the issues of HBA and harmful practices, also reflecting what they want to achieve as Savera UK Youth. The use of wings was symbolic of the Liverpool Liver Bird, commenting on the support found within our own communities. The colour orange was used as reference to Savera UK’s branding. They also explored different types of poems with Ali including; kennings, question poems, acrostics, haikus and sonnets, before writing their own.
Cenraia, a young person who joined Savera UK Youth programme for the first time and took part in our 2023 #EndHBA&HarmfulPractices project. Cenraia created a series of photography and a painting. Cenraia said: “Through my art, I hope to raise awareness and start conversations about the Impact of ‘honour’-based abuse. It’s such an important topic that needs more attention. When I created the artwork, I wanted to convey the emotions and struggles faced by individuals in these situations.”
Following the project Cenraia expressed interest in joining the Savera UK Youth Advisory Board.
Another Savera UK Youth member Luka Ford, he painted a duo canvas piece of two wings with an orange brick pattern within them. He explained that his artwork was a “reference to the Orange Brick Road film in our HBA educational animation and a visual of how a brighter future might not be easy but is possible with the right support and guidance.” this was another project done by the Savera UK Youth as part of their last year UK Parliament week last year.
The Savera UK Youth led event was not only launching their 2023 #EndHBA&HarmfulPractices exhibition, Savera UK invited key guest speakers including Merseyside High Sheriff Dr Ruth Hussey, who also supported them by funding this year’s exhibition project, and the Direct Intervention team to highlight the work they do within Savera UK.
The exhibition facilitators Ali Harwood, AB and one of the young people who participated in the project, told the audience about how they worked together as a group. Savera UK Youth also delivered an incredibly informative presentation, sharing the inspirations behind their work and why they joined Savera UK. They took the opportunity to discuss more ideas with the audience to encourage other young people to get involved. Hannah, the Chair of the Savera UK Youth Advisory Board, finished the event sharing how important it is to keep exploring creative ways of raising awareness and continuing to advocate for those living through ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices.
Malcolm, who is the Savera UK Youth Ambassador stated: “another incredible opportunity to the impactful work accomplished by Savera UK Youth” and Afrah Qassim CEO and Founder speaking after the event “No surprise, Savera UK Youth has done us proud. Their commitment and passion to never give up achieving their goals, no word to describe how incredibly proud I am of them, congratulations on another fantastic achievement. Thank you to Merseyside High Sheriff for funding this year’s youth project.”
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