Young people building bridges

Newbuildings Youth Club member Conor Palmer recites his lines during the 'Your Process Or Mine' project in Newbuildings on Tuesday evening. (NB2204AQ02)
Newbuildings Youth Club member Conor Palmer recites his lines during the 'Your Process Or Mine' project in Newbuildings on Tuesday evening. (NB2204AQ02)

Young people from loyalist and republican parts of Derry came together in Newbuildings on Tuesday night to start shooting a short film about their understanding the Peace Process in the North of Ireland.

The project, titled ‘Your Process Or Mine’ is E.U. funded and is co-ordinated by the Gasyard Development Trust.

Youth First members from the Bogside, Conor McCourt (left) and Liam McCormick. (NB2204AQ04)

Youth First members from the Bogside, Conor McCourt (left) and Liam McCormick. (NB2204AQ04)

One of the main aims of the ‘Your Process Or Mine’ project is to educate younger generations on the Peace Process.

Gasyard Development Trust Heritage and Tourism Officer, Mickey Cooper, said that the response from the young people involved has been extremely positive and he added that they especially enjoyed learning about digital film production.

“It’s through projects such as this one that we are able to educate our younger generations on the absolute necessity of the Peace Process.

“Young people on the project have been learning about how and why the Peace Process came about.

Newbuildings Youth Club member, Harry Tayler, says that the most enjoyable part of the 'Your Process Or Mine' was learning about both republican and loyalist murals. (NB2204AQ03)

Newbuildings Youth Club member, Harry Tayler, says that the most enjoyable part of the 'Your Process Or Mine' was learning about both republican and loyalist murals. (NB2204AQ03)

“At the end of the project they will produce their own film to do with how they see and understand the Peace Process. We had a great night’s craic filming in Newbuildings.

“We had young people from Youth First youth club in the Bogside working in a team with members of Newbuildings Youth Club - they all did an excellent job,” said Mickey who is also a Sinn Fein councillor.

Twelve year-old Harry Tayler is from Newbuildings and is a student at Foyle College in Derry. Harry is also a member of Newbuildings Youth Club; whilst filming on Tuesday evening he said that the aspect of the project he enjoyed the most was learning about both loyalist and republican murals.

“It was a great - we visited the murals in the Bogside and in Lincoln Courts,” said Harry. “I had a bit of an understanding of the murals but after taking part in the project I have to say I know more about them.

“There’s great craic between our group and the groups from Pilot’s Row. I suppose one of the best things about the project is that we learned to respect and understand one another’s cultures and history.”

Fourteen year-old Conor McCourt is from Cable Street in the Bogside. On Tuesday, Conor, who is a member of Youth First youth club in the Bogside, worked alongside Harry and some of the other members of Newbuildings Youth Club.

“I have really enjoyed this project,” said Conor. “It’s been great meeting up with other young people from Newbuildings and Lincoln Courts - you soon realise that although we come from different backgrounds we have a lot of the same interests and likes.”

In recent months the young people involved with the project met with ex-prisoners from both the republican and loyalist sides.

“Meeting with the ex-prisoners was definitely a highlight,” said Conor.

“They told us about what life was like for them in prison and they told us about the importance of the Peace Process. It was really interesting to listen to what they had to say.”

The young people from Lincoln Courts and Newbuildings will meet up with the youngsters from Youth First youth club and Pilot’s Row youth club next week to document the history of the Bogside in the context of the Peace Process.

“I am looking forward to it,” said Harry. “The boys from the Bogside have helped us out this week so hopefully we can do the same next week.”

Work on the film will start later in the year. It’s anticipated that it will be released just before Derry celebrates its year as City of Culture.

“There’s a lot of digital and technical work for the young people to get involved with in this project,” said Mickey.

“They are all learning as they go along and I am sure that when the film is complete it will be one people will be keen to show off during Derry’s year as City of Culture.

“The film, combined with large exhibitions which will also be produced through the project will be on show in all the local centres for young people and will act as a major educational resource for residents and visitors alike.”

The groups involved in the ‘Your Process Or Mine’ project are Lincoln Courts Youth Club, Newbuildings Youth Club, Pilots Row Youth Club and Youth First.