In an exciting collaboration between Elliott Hudson College (@EHCleeds) and the prestigious British Library, a group of students has spearheaded an innovative project culminating in the creation of an animated film titled “Myths & Legends: A South Leeds Odyssey.” This project marked the British Library’s first co-creation venture with students from Elliott Hudson College, aiming to authentically represent the vibrant youth voice of South Leeds.
The collaboration project has been running since February as part of the students’ enrichment programme, and has included trips to London, local libraries, and museums as well as print-making workshops. The students then decided to bring together everything they had been discussing and conceptualising into a new animated film celebrating the diverse cultural tapestry of South Leeds.
Two recent graduates, Luca Procopio, and Jacob Robbins, from the Northern Film School were chosen to bring the envisioned tale to life, drawing inspiration from Anansi, the revered Ghanaian/Caribbean folklore spider trickster. Renowned Leeds poet Khadijah Ibrahiim contributed by crafting a new narrative for the animated film.
Flora Young said: “It was an amazing opportunity that formed friendships between us. It was completely student-led with only small suggestions made by Jodie which gave a sense of accomplishment but also project management and problem solving. The premiere helped us to see our efforts on a big screen and realise the size of our project.”
The much-anticipated premiere of “Myths & Legends: A South Leeds Odyssey” took place on 10th October at the School of Art in Leeds Beckett University. The premiere event was a glamorous affair, resembling a red-carpet spectacle, providing the students with an unforgettable experience amid the glitz and glamour. The venue sparkled with the creative energy and talent exhibited by the students and collaborators.
The students showcased their enthusiasm and dedication by promoting the premiere on Chapel FM, a local radio station, discussing the intricacies and significance of their collaborative journey on air.
Sam Ashik said: “The biggest lesson I learnt was probably on the many different aspects, views, and opinions on culture and heritage as a whole. While some people seemed to care less about ethnic culture, they were a lot more interested in the culture of the area they lived in. The many different interpretations of the same story (Anansi), were also a valuable insight to me, as while as a whole in most cultures, trickery was frowned upon, certain instances of it were praised and revered. Sometimes, like with Anansi, there was a blurry line between the two, with some of the spider’s actions causing chaos, and others causing confusion or playful mischief which helped the wider society.”
Following the resounding success of the premiere, the co-created animated film is about to embark on a tour across Leeds libraries in early 2024, reaching out to wider audiences and further celebrating the rich heritage and stories of South Leeds.
Photo Credits: Abbie Jennings/British Library.