Change the Seen was a forum theatre production devised by young people aged 16 -25 years with experiences of homelessness and / or mental ill-health. They worked together over 12 weeks to play games, share experiences, make a film trailer and devise a piece of forum theatre based on their own personal stories. As part of the project, the young people worked alongside professional filmmakers from Aglow Films to make this trailer.

The performance follows the character of Joni who is trying to find her place in the world. She is navigating her way through challenges in lack of employment, housing and a complex and constantly changing set of bureaucratic systems. Like many other young people, she is dealing with the stress of family breakdowns, mental ill-health, feelings of failure, body image, negative stereotyping and the pressures of 24-hour social networking.

Forum theatre invites audiences to stop the performance and come up on stage to try out different approaches a character might take when dealing with oppression. Change the Seen invited audiences in Arnolfini and The Wardrobe Theatre to join the discussion about how to make positive changes to young people’s lives. Here’s some of the young people speaking about their experiences of the project.

Change the Seen is a partnership between Many Minds, Cardboard Citizens, Wyldwood Arts, 1625 Independent People, Aglow Films and Rife Magazine.

The project is supported by Bristol City Council, Quartet Community Foundation and People’s Health Trust.