Humans of Hanham: a photo show capturing young people enjoying life

April 26 2019

EVER wondered what a night at Hanham Youth Club feels like? That's the tag line for an exhibition of photography and sound chronicling life at the popular High Street club.


Young people there took part in a 12-month project - called Humans of Hanham – which was funded by Comic Relief.
Working with photographer Colin Moody and emerging young artist Nick Fogarty, boys and girls took images and captured sound which provides a snapshot of their everyday lives away from home.
The social action project was managed by Creative Youth Network (CYN) which runs the youth club, along with others in the district.
Humans of Hanham launched at Hanham Hall on April 16 and will run until April 28 when it will then go on a mini-tour of Bristol.
More than 400 young people attend Hanham Youth Club across four evenings every week. They are able to take part in planned activities or just hang out, play pool and chat to their mates. Friday evenings are funded by both parish councils and are known as project nights where young people look at varied issues such as women's rights, young people cycling without lights and homophobia.
Youth club manager Arran Bees said the young people had been the driving force of the project.
“It was important to us to do something that the young people wanted to do rather than us forcing something on them.
“We looked at different things but ultimately landed upon the idea of Humans of Hanham. They captured images that we as youth workers see every day – young people doing what they do and enjoying what they do. They also captured the audio of what it's like to be immersed in club life. The exhibition is the sum of the project. We have 31 images which were selected from more than 100 and these explain to members of the public and parents what it's like to be at club.”
Arran said the audio side of the project is equally as important.
“On the audio are some really amazing conversations between youth workers and young people about really important and hard hitting issues. Young people are making really amazing points but the people of Hanham never get to hear this. The project was the young people's chance to express how they feel about things to an audience.
“Quite often young people don't have a voice – they don't get to vote until they are 18 and it's difficult to express themselves at school so this has been an opportunity for them to do that. It's also an amazing opportunity for their parents, and members of the public, to actually see and hear what goes on inside Hanham Youth Club.”
CYN spokeswoman Andreea Dumitrache said: “The exhibition highlights that, in a time when space for young people to have fun and be safe is becoming more and more scarce, Hanham Youth Club is a crucial space where young people build their community and find their voice.”