A Samosa Media & UEL
This website and the Identity Project it documents are the result of a collaboration between journalism students at the University of East London (UEL) and The Samosa, an arts, education and media charity that strives to embed diversity within the curriculum. UEL and The Samosa have been working together since 2016.
Twelve UEL undergraduates worked with Samosa Media to research and interrogate the subject of identity in the UK. The process began with a series of workshops led by Samosa founder and Media Director Anwar Akhtar, in which students were forced to think about identity in relation to both the past and the present.
Helped along by Samosa Media Education Officer Natalie Marshall, the group used what they had discussed around journalism, history, race, culture and politics, to explore five specific themes: disability; the experience of being a young black man in London; the pressures sometimes put on young women; what it means to be a feminist; and what it means to be British in 2020. The students developed their ideas and made a series of short films, informed by their research and discussions.
Professional filmmaker Victor Rios from Three Blokes Productions then joined the project to mentor the students through the production and editing process. Each student was designated a role which included website developer, camera operator, production assistant, researcher and film editor. The students created this website, which will be used as an educational resource to help discuss and study diversity in schools, colleges and universities.
Because of the sudden arrival of COVID-19 and the campus closures that came with it, the team had to quickly make major changes that affected both production and post production.
But with patience and imagination the students managed to complete what has been a valuable exercise in creative collaboration with an external client, and through that process to know more about some sensitive and challenging issues.
The project is part of a wider programme of work being led by Samosa Media to support diversity in the curriculum.
It is the fifth collaboration between Samosa Media and UEL since the partnership began in 2016.
The work produced has has made available by The Samosa to schools, colleges and campuses as a teaching resource.
Samosa Media is grateful for the support of The Sir John Cass’s Foundation, The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, The Arts Council and Sir Harvey McGrath.
For further information on this curriculum partnership please email Samosa Education Officer Natalie Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org or Simon Miles (senior lecturer in the School of Arts and Digital Industries) at S.P.Miles@uel.ac.uk