Five young ESOL students from New City College, Hackney campus have taken part in an exciting art project run by Mouth that Roars, working with professionals from Autograph. 

The six-month project has brought young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds together to produce a professional project. They have met with residents from different cultures and communities within the borough of Hackney to gain knowledge and inspiration, enabling them to create their final artwork.

Andreas, Francia, Luis, Mohammad and Francois, met at Autograph art gallery (and via Zoom) on a weekly basis to learn film making and photography skills enabling them to take their own portraits which are displayed, along with their powerful messages, on a digital billboard near Old Street station.

Not only have the 16 to 19-year-old students, gained new friends and new skills, but their confidence has soared and they have achieved a Level 1 Creative Media qualification for their work on the project.

Francia, when seeing herself on the big screen, said “I can’t believe it, it looks fantastic! The project has been really fun, and I have gained new skills which I can use in the future. I’m so grateful for the opportunity.”

Mohammad said: “England is very different to my home country (Afghanistan), but I feel really at home here and Hackney has such a diverse culture, I can be myself.”