RGS Art Teacher, Miss Harvey is flexing her altruistic muscle in February half-term by volunteering on a project in Rio, Brazil, as part of a working trip to film Carnival in Recife.
As well as teaching at our school, Miss Harvey is a freelance artist and passionate filmmaker and will be working with not-for-profit organisation CatComm, to share film making skills with young people living in Brazil's favelas. Favela is an umbrella name for several types of working-class neighbourhoods in Brazil, historically the result of the unequal distribution of wealth in the country and often mistakenly referred to as 'slums'. Despite challenging circumstances, the favelas are community-orientated and culturally-rich spaces, and Miss Harvey is sharing her skills with aspiring young filmakers.
Speaking about her mission Miss Harvey explains:
It has long been the focus of my art practice to connect with and support, under-recognised communities, in telling their stories. This has included children in care, young people struggling with food insecurity, neurodivergent youth, LGBTQIA+ youth, older adults and their struggles during the pandemic and various women’s groups.
Anyone should be able to tell their story in their own way. In a digital age, more young people are becoming connected to their communities and finding ways to tell stories through digital film, which can be distributed locally, nationally and even globally through social media, websites or online archives.
In participating in this project, I want to support this youth favela community by providing the equipment and training that they require, and support them in telling their authentic stories sustainably and to a global audience.
Through this project I want to use my privilege as a platform to provide communities such as this youth favela group with ample opportunity to access the training and equipment that they need to go on telling their stories, long after I have worked with them in the first instance.
Miss Harvey is donating her time and expertise for this trip, but is currently crowdfundraising to raise money to provide the group with equipment to be able to make films for both this project and future projects. This would include basic recording equipment, such as cameras, microphones and lights.
Long term, it is my creative dream to be able to establish an online storytelling ‘archive’ that hosts the films made by the people of a variety of different communities globally. These communities would be able to connect with each other through this platform; network, learn about, and potentially support each other. I want to engage more deeply in this line of work; using successful projects to secure further funding, which in turn would help support a range of different communities engage in creative filmmaking and storytelling around the world.
More details of Miss Harvey's mission is on her crowdfunding page here. Good luck Miss!