Last night saw an extremely enjoyable and well-attended Burns Night celebration, at The Glad Café, for the culmination of the Graphic Lyrics project.
For the past six months we were Writers in Residence for the Edinburgh International Book Festival Booked programme, working with hip-hop artist Dave Hook helping S4 pupils of Shawlands Academy create comics and raps based on fairy tales. Last night’s event saw the unveiling of the finished comic compiling all their work.
All the participants received a copy of the Graphic Lyrics comic and then took a seat for an advanced preview of the sound and vision spectacle showcasing their raps and drawings.
The pupils’ and teachers’ families and friends then arrived for the main event. Introduced by Janet Smyth with MC Catherine Campbell the pupils all got on stage to talk a little about their experience and introduce the fantastic work they produced.
We were also interviewed by Catherine, along with rapper Dave Hook, and each talked a little about the process.
We had the opportunity to thank everyone involved in the project: Catherine Campbell, Janet Smyth, Nick Barley and Roland Gulliver from the Edinburgh International Book Festival; Janice Kirk and Chris Smith, the teacher and support worker from Shawlands Academy, who both worked hard to guide the pupils between our sessions; Dave Hook, for working with us to chose suitable stories with the pupils and then working with them to produce such excellent raps, and, of course, the pupils themselves.
Working with pupils from Shawlands Academy in Glasgow was an absolute pleasure and we are delighted with the finished comics and raps. The pupils all worked incredibly hard and everyone got involved. Some people feel that they can’t draw and it was great to see the pupils’ confidence and self-esteem grow as they worked together sharing a common language.
The evening was rounded off with two songs from one third of Stanley Odd and everyone paid a visit to Shawlands Academy to see giant projections of the pupils comics on the school building.