Young people urged to take chance to be part of Derry’s About Us 2022

Young people aged 4 to 18 in Derry, Strabane and Limavady have been urged to enter the About Us poetry and STEM competition to be in with a chance to have their work showcased at the huge ‘About Us’ installation in the city in spring 2022.

Friday, 31st December 2021, 2:03 pm

The deadline for submissions is midnight on Sunday, January 9 and winners will have their work displayed in the live installation in Derry in March 2022, at the start of UNBOXED, - a celebration of creativity in 2022 taking place across the north and in Britain.

Award-winning poet Stephen Sexton from Derry was recently named on the list of judges for the competition.

The theme for the competition is ‘connectivity and the universe’, as young people are invited to submit either a poem or a scratch animation project, or both. The project is supposed to reflect on ‘the many ways in which life across the universe is interwoven’.

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It is hoped the initiative will spark creative inspiration for young people and the About Us microsite is available to help source inspiration featuring anything from whale songs to astrophysics.

With the set theme in place, the aim of the competition is for people to look at the world through a fresh set of eyes, and to help others understand the wonders of the world from a fresh perspective.

The About Us events will be a large, outdoor event taking place across five different cities, including Derry. From March to May 2022, About Us will run for a week in Paisley, Derry, Caernarfon, Luton, and Hull and will include multimedia installations throughout the day and projection mapping shows every evening.

The evening shows will transform buildings and landmarks in each of the five towns and cities into a vast canvas featuring bespoke animations, cutting-edge projection mapping technology set to a brand new score by composer Nitin Sawhney performed by local choirs.

Derry poet Stephen Sexton.

During the daytime outdoor installations will incorporate submissions from the About Us competition and winners will be announced on 28 February 2022.

Derry will also host another massive installation in 2022 along the banks of the River Foyle. ‘Our Place in Space’ will take people through the solar system in the form of a trail.

Other judges for the free poetry competition include, Simon Armitage (Poet Laureate), Ghislaine Boddington, Ifor ap Glyn (National Poet of Wales), Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon, Kathleen Jamie, Keith Jarret and Rachel Riley.

Dr. Imafidon said: “STEAM is all about creativity. I’m excited to see the creativity of the next generation as they explore what connectivity looks like across our universe and beyond.”

Judith Palmer, Director of The Poetry Society said: “Young people’s creativity never fails to amaze us. We can’t wait to see what inspires young people about science, the natural world and the web of inter-reliance that connects us all together.”

Martin Green, Chief Creative Officer at UNBOXED said: “It is fitting that the ideas and inspirations of children and young people will shape the opening event of UBOXED through a nationwide competition that brings together poetry writing and technology.

“About Us is an invitation to consider our awe-inspiring universe, a huge-scale exploration of the vast networks of connection that takes us from the Big Bang to now. I am so excited to see how these epic themes will be enriched and emboldened through the contribution of young people.”

The About Us competition is free to enter and open to young people living in NI aged 4 to 18 years.

The closing date is 23:59 GMT on Sunday, January 9 2022.

Full details of the rules of entry and the entry form can be found at aboutus.earth/competition

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