Widening Circles: Britannia’s Youth Speak Through Their Art

“I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world.” Rainer Maria Rilke

At Britannia this week, our circles of self-knowledge, expression and community expanded. As one student concluded, “ I learned how to use my voice.” These voices now ripple beyond the classroom, can cross borders and be heard by communities around the globe in the form of poetry, portraits, weaving and videos.

Damian inspired everyone to amplify their voices today in an energetic and unforgettable drama warm up. This energy fed into each and every group as they were tasked with completing the majority of the shooting and editing of their spoken word pieces, on this our final day of programming. Brunella helped everyone to achieve their goals and make collaborative and artistic decisions for the first screening at the end of the day. Stay tuned, as in the coming days, students release their videos to the public.

Elder Amanda’s closing words, “Feel strong in who you are and don’t let anyone take it from you,” captured the feeling that permeated the room as we wrapped up. There was pride. There was accomplishment. There was confidence…and no one can take that away…ever. 

There were many take aways though. In the words of the youth:

“I became more confident.”

“It’s not that bad. Not that complicated. I got it. Art was fun. I can’t even pick a favourite part. It was all great!”

“I felt really good filming with my team. I got my confidence back.”

“My crew helped me.” 

“I feel fortunate. I learned skills that I will use in the future.”

“My favourite part was acting. Seeing myself on the screen was pretty fun.” 

“I learned a lot about people.” 

There are so many images that stand out in this youthLEADarts week at Britannia Elementary, so many wins. These few days impacted many, and not just for a few days either, but for a lifetime. 

I leave you for now, with the image of the Medicine Wheel, photo arranged and taken by Candice. This particular Medicine Wheel is composed of the headbands that each individual student wove this week, representing Fire, Water, Earth and Air. It alone speaks volumes. 

This week has allowed us to widen our circles.