‘We have the ability to affect change in our communities.’
Steffan Thompson and Dominic Lofters created Catalyst Studios two years ago as young filmmakers. They started by organising networking events for young people who wouldn’t normally have access to media opportunities, where they could come and talk to industry leads.
What is Catalyst Studios?
Catalyst Studios is a film production and arts organisation, that is keen to see and portray a more positive, and realistic, representation of young people, and people of colour, in mainstream media.
Having noticed that young people are constantly bombarded with messages via television, social media, adverts, music and performances, the organisation is keen to teach ‘media literacy’, the ability to access, analyse and create different types of media. The messages that people receive through the media inform the way that we think about ourselves, which can often impact negatively on individuals and whole groups of people.
Today, many young people have the power to access and create their own media very easily, with extreme views just a click away. Without the skills to critically assess the information that they receive and share, young people can fall foul to dangerous ideologies or be drawn into negative stereotypes.
Drill music, for example, has gained a reputation for being a source of violence and gang-culture but Catalyst Studios realises that the relationship between music and young people is important, and are working to make this a positive one.
If successful, what will you use your LoveBrum funding for?
The money from LoveBrum will fund Catalyst Studios’ project ‘Up to No Good’, which is aimed at young people from Nechells and the surrounding areas. The project will see a large group take part in a media literacy workshop, where they will then be able to use their new skills to write a song, or rap, and create a music video that subverts the stereotypes usually attached to youth from working class communities. The final video will then be screened to an audience of family, friends and people from the local community.
The project will equip participants with the skills to create positive media, and assess the credibility of the media that they engage with, encouraging them to explore their identity, and the world, through their own eyes. This will, in turn, create a positive social change within the community.
The project is the first step of Catalyst Studios’ plan to take the media literacy programme into communities and schools across the Midlands.
Cost of project
Where can people go to find out more about Catalyst Studios?
Steffan Zachiyah & Dominic Lofters, Founders
Tel: 07399 644 941