_RIS0047.JPGSix workshops at Paganel Primary from 8th May to 29th June with Lorna Meehan, Poet and Drama practitioner, and Richard Battye, photographer to write poetry and take photos leading to an exhibition at the Pagalympics, Birmingham Central Library (to be confirmed), and Kalaboration event at Sarehole Mill in July.

Kalaboration celebrates the 2012 Olympic Games and commemorates 50th anniversary of Jamaican Independence. Kalaborate is the part of the project working with young people in partnership with The Drum arts centre, Birmingham City University and Rogueplay Theatre. The project was also featured on Northfield Arts forum site recently.
More photos:


Kalaborate Log Book
Facilitators-Lorna Meehan (Drama/Poetry), Richard Battye (Photography)

To gauge what the group knew about the Olympics and the Jamaica 50 anniversary and also to get an idea of their interests, we started off by making a word burst for each subject. The group were very enthusiastic and gave us a lot to work with. We then gave them an introduction to our work with Richard showing images of dancers mid motion and me playing some ice breaking drama games
based on making simple poses, leading into poses based around Olympic sports. We closed the session by writing a group poem based around some of the words we had accumulated, using a simple rhyming couplet structure.

We split the group between poetry and photography and swapped them so everyone got a chance to do both. Richard developed the sports poses idea, showing the groups how to photograph each other in various freeze frames based around sports. I worked on developing the group poem idea into a structure for individual poems. Each pupil picked a word from the group word burst and did another word burst for words associated with it, then helped them generate rhyming ideas and sentence structures. We ended up with a variety of subjects like swimming, trying to play rugby, ‘if clumsiness was a Olympic sport I’d win’ and ‘The Day I Dropped the Olympic Torch’. We closed the session by taking some group shots of various group sports, ending with a Rugby huddle. The group enjoyed doing both activities and were keen to do more of the same.

We split the group again and worked on developing the ideas they had produced so far. I concentrated on getting the poems off the page and moving into performance territory. We made some general freeze frames to get the groups familiar with the idea, then applied that style to their poems. We ended up with various still pictures to help tell the story of the poem. The groups came up with a lot of effective ideas for images, using props and directing each other. Richard developed the poses into group shots and developed the pupils knowledge of taking their own pictures. We also touched briefly on the idea of making up you own Olympic sport. We ended the session by getting feedback from the pupils on what they had enjoyed so far by recording them and got a positive response about all the activities so far.

Week FourWe split the group between taking some more professional photo’s with Richard and making a wall display out of their poems and photos, adding decorations such as gold medals. We also recorded the poems on audio so we can use them as a soundtrack to the photo’s they made of their poems. One pupil had an idea of taking photo’s outside on the obstacle course and we got some great images of the pupils in action and we also filmed some short clips where we were being sports commentators, following their progress on the course then interviewing them afterwards. This has given me some ideas for more filming ideas for the next session. We have some great work that can be developed into interesting products for the final exhibition.


Group Poem

I got words that love to swim,
You can do that in the gym,
I got words that give you pride,
I came last at least I tried,
I got words that will give you a challenge,
Finish this poem if you can manage.

I Like the Water

I like to swim,
So I go to the gym,
My favourite swim is the back stroke,
It keeps you on the ball.
The water looks blue,
Also see-through.
Swimming rocks,
You don’t have to wear Docks,
Tom Daley is so fine,
He can dive all the time,
When he goes under water he goes “bobobobob”.

All About Jamaica

Usain Bolt never looses,
Because he doesn’t wear ballet shoesey’s
Shaggy is Mister Boombastic,
And he’s very fantastic.
Bob Marley sings Reggae,
And he eats super hot Reggae Reggae sauce by Levi Roots.
Ginger beer,
I like to drink it on a peer.
Steel drum,
I smack my bum to the drum.

The Day I Dropped the Olympic Torch

Today I grew a nasty wart,
And I suppose to carry the Olympic torch,
I was suppose to hold the Olympic torch,
But first I had to go on a course,
It was not fun.
Then it was time to hold the Olympic torch,
But then I got scorched and dropped the Olympic torch.

Swimming is Cool

Swimming is so great,
When you see your best mate,
I love it so much,
My skin likes the touch.
Me and my friends enjoy it lots,
It makes us jump with tots.
None of my friends hate it,
Going swimming makes it.

For the Club

I love your club so much,
You have this really nice touch,
Your club has attraction,
You have a very nice caption.
We work as a team,
All colours to be seen,
Hope you enjoyed the poem,
You just keep going.

If Clumsiness was a Sport

If clumsiness was a sport,
I’d win every time,
I’d either fall right over,
Or squirt my lime.
I’d probably die in the end,
But I don’t really mind,
Cause if clumsiness was a sport,
I’d win every time.

I Tried Rugby

The training is cool,
But matches are cruel.
I kicked the ball,
But I hit a wall!
I got tackled by Loma,
I went into a coma.
I scored a goal,
I won a bowl!

Evaluation last week:


'It was hard because if people to do back flips or jumped up in the air it was hard to get just that image.'

'I think there were some individuals who I really saw develop over the course of six weeks, who really developed their skills and focused more as the project developed.' Richard Battye

'It’s about thinking about all the things that we can do…it’s trying to get us ready for it [the Olympics]'

'It’s fun to see people achieve their goals'

'I really loved the photographer and taking the pictures'

'I learnt a lot of stuff about Jamaica 50…'

'I wanted to take part because it was art and photographs, and I hadn’t been doing that for a while. '

'I learnt a lot about photography, poem writing and this has really given my creativity a boost.'

'They were really kind and understanding. They weren’t like regular teachers – they were less strict, which was great.'

'I really enjoyed with the pupils at Paganel, they had lots of enthusiam and great ideas which they saw through to fruition. We ended up with great results that I'm looking forward to sharing with the public.' Lorna Meehan

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