Rise Up Young Activists Project

It is vital now more than ever to adapt and share our stories in other ways...

Education Assistant Hannah Millard talks about her digital project, Rise Up.

At CFT, we have been busy with our exciting Young Activists project, RISE UP. The completely digital project, created and delivered over lockdown, focuses on the thoughts of young people regarding the preservation and protection of our planet. We asked anyone aged 16-25 from any location to create a short film submission to be included in a CFT produced Short Film, sharing the young creators artworks on eco-activism. 

The project comes at a time of environmental crisis, a crisis that affects the lives of every being on the planet. It is also comes at a time of lockdown in our country, not knowing where the future lies. We created RISE UP to be a safe, accessible, and creative way for any young person to get involved in preserving our planet, sharing their stories, and celebrating their creativity and bravery. 

We have been blown away by the inspiring works of artistic activism by young creators. Below are the powerful voices of those included in the Rise Up Short Film: 

With current restrictions, digital activism is key to continuing the fights that cannot be fought out in the streets, and keeping the conversations going - such as climate change - that are being forgotten amongst the current noise. Also, as a creator, this project allows me to feel like I can contribute to the cause in a way that makes sense to me.

Divine Order created by Olivia Coppin and Freddie Coppin, from Chichester

It is important to spread awareness of the amount of plastic pollution that enters our oceans each year, this is just one of the many problems that effects our beautiful planet. With theatres closed and the creative arts on hold it is vital now more than ever to adapt and share our stories in other ways. This piece was created to offer another perspective on our 'plastic world'. We decided it would be interesting to create a mini human village to translate the problems we cause to marine life and the effects it has on their habitat.

​Plastic People created by Geri McNamara and Alys Whitehead, from South Wales​

Having dealt with witnessing the effects of environmental damage first-hand long ago, I decided that making a mini-documentary for this theatre project would provide evidence of me doing informative acting for my University.

Josh Knight’s Home created by Joshua Lovell-Knight, from Barnham

I have been aware for a couple of years that there is very little (particularly ballet-based) dance work about social and environmental issues. I realised that there was a lot of literature, music and art protesting or reflecting on various global injustices and disasters, but the mainstream dance world is lagging behind, particularly on environmental issues. The opportunity RISE UP presents to change that is really exciting and I would love to have the chance to share my work on a platform promoting young creatives and environmentalists. I want my dance to be more than just something pretty, I want it to be a form of protest art... not protest art that is confrontational and loud but one is beautiful and connects the audience to the issues I want to talk about.

The Dying Bluebird created by Catherine Sleeman

As an actress, activist and theatre maker I was beyond excited when I saw this opportunity. I currently raise awareness on issues such as Mental Health, The Environment, Sexism, Homophobia, Body Image, and Homelessness. I am also an ambassador for children’s burns trust, and help them raise awareness of Burns safety, whilst sharing my story as a burns survivor. I love making positive change and theatre! And would love to do as much as I can to make a difference.

To Blame created by Crystal Turner-Brightman

Thank you to all those involved in the project, including our incredible young creators, and we proudly present the Rise Up Short Film available to view below.

If you’re interested in exploring eco-activism, have a look at the useful links and resources below. 

UK Youth Climate Coalition
The Climate Coalition
Climate Reframe
Friends of the Earth Global
Friends of the Earth UK
The Center for Artistic Activism
Extinction Rebellion Global
Extinction Rebellion UK 
TED Talk