Unseen Voices

MEDEA 2008 Highly Commended

Showcase video of the project Unseen Voices - download the transcript of this interview

This project Unseen Voices, is a new silent digital film (8 mins) as part of a collaborative interdisciplinary creative learning project, created and delivered by Sergio López Figueroa (Creative Director of Big Bang Lab).

In two-week workshops a group of music students learn the history of the second World War, the Holocaust and Kindertransport (youth refugees in 1939) by learning how to create a film entirely by re-using archive film footage and photography and editing digitised clips, learn where and how to research, copyright issues, make the storyboard and the film, compose the music with support of Music Leader and finally perform live at the Holocaust Memorial Day with the Unseen Voices film in Wembley Town Hall in January 2008.

At a second stage, an educational DVD was produced as a learning resource and distributed to 100 schools in the Borough including four mini documentaries of the whole process and further resources including web resources for the use of teachers and other schools.

What the judges said of this entry

“It is a very good project with a clear and original concept. The students are emotionally involved through a set of different approaches: making history realistic by oral history, learning them to relate to it and making a connection with discrimination and racism in modern day society. The examples are close to the pupils’ own environment and there are some very good learning resources here; the debate and learning process were taken to a new level. The end result is of a very high quality.”

About the creation and use of the film

Sergio López Figueroa

Director Sergio López Figueroa

Sergio López Figueroa explains: “ The ‘Unseen Voices’ film was about the Holocaust and child refugees in historical terms as well as contemporary terms. I was interested in seeing how I could engage young people with history and also in connecting history with contemporary issues. On the creative side, having a production company based in the school enabled children to use their range of skills. We used music and film in a creative way and we created a silent film purely by using archive film and composing and creating new music for a live performance for a wider audience. I delivered music and film workshops throughout the project and there was collaboration with a music teacher from the school and an editing assistant as well. We worked exclusively with music students: there were fourteen music students who each took part in the film and the music creation process.

Screenshot of the entry Unseen Voices

Screenshot of Unseen Voices

At a later stage, the company produced a DVD including the final film and the film process and this was distributed to one hundred schools in the Borough as a complete package. The project was funded by the Museum Libraries and Archive Council (MLA) and is now actually being used as a best practice model for the second stage of their funding program.”

Project website and DVD

Unseen voices

Sponsors and organisers