A new video starring teenagers from a youth group showcases the sights and sounds of Blackburn.

The video sees Alisha Seedat walk through the town taking in Corporation Park, Cathedral Square, the town centre and Victoria Street. Along the way she is joined by Zainab Hanslod and Aisha Hussain.

The video was part of One Voice Blackburn’s - ‘Blackburn – We Love It, We Breathe It, We Love It’ campaign and launched at the 1V Awards Dinner over the weekend. It was made possible by the Arts Council and which inspired a performance by Hafsah Khonat singing some seventies classics live at the event.

Arts Council’s open access programme for arts, museums and libraries projects supports individual artists, community and cultural organisations thanks to National Lottery investment.

The young people, aged between 11 and 18, undertook digital training as well as story boarding, editing and music selection skills. 

There was a focus on digital development in filmmaking, illustration, graphic design, animation and sound design. The project has given young people the opportunity to delve in a variety of aspects or specialise in one specific area.

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Alisha Seedat walks through Blackburn and is joined by Zainab Hanslod and Aisha Hussain and fellow One Voice youth group members

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Naseera Patel, age 12, who was involved in the film making and directing, said: “I have learnt so many skills during this project including casting, filming and organising. It has improved my leadership skills as well as my confidence. The filming itself was quite tiring but it was worth it for the end product.”

Sara Khan, age 15, produced a storyboard for the videos, said: “I was pleased to have directed part of the videos, and learnt a lot about storyboarding too. I supported in choosing locations and ensured that we planned well for the films shoots.” 

Hafsah Khonat, who performed at the event said: “I am so lucky to have been given the chance to learn to hone my skills as a vocalist. It was a privilege to perform at King George’s Hall as the culmination of months of practice and hard work.”

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The video was filmed across Blackburn

Marketing Lead at One Voice Blackburn Sundas Bakhat was also involved in the project. She said: “One Voice Blackburn have put young people at the centre of shaping the narrative of their hometown Blackburn, especially post Covid-19, making it a place they want to live in and celebrate. 

“Young people are best placed to help shape a new cultural scene which, is vibrant and accessible to all.”

Young people from the South Asian background are somewhat underrepresented in the arts sector.  The challenges are pretty distinct in increasing the participation and engagement within the community for dance, drama and performance. Researchers have found that getting involved in the arts can improve a person’s confidence and self-esteem.