2009, 71:30 minutes, colour, english
POWER In a groundbreaking project developed by MISCELLANEOUS Productions, a group of multi-barriered youth collaborated with a team of professional artists on POWER, an evening of solo performance pieces, ensemble drumming and dance numbers, all of which take a raw, honest look at the things that matter to youth in the community: power, racism, immigration, poverty, violence, sexism, addiction and love.
Building on workshops and outreach initiatives conducted through 2008, a casting call in January of 2009 drew youth from Eastside high schools, community centres and workplaces. Under the guidance of director and writer Elaine Carol and other professional artists, the selected youth performers experienced intensive training in interdisciplinary performance art, solo performance, theatrical monologue, stand-up comedy, Slam poetry, ritual performance,
World music, hip hop music and dance.
The documentary film focuses on the lives and experiences of four cast members: Natasha Pheko, exploring her anger about the sexism in mainstream hip hop videos; Roberto Hidalgo, a young man attracted to a destructive lifestyle due to his struggle with parental abandonment; Dakota Prince, a Cree-Ojibway “princess of the East Vancouver Pow Wow” and gang groupie; and Michael Cheng, who examined the way he views the world through his “eccentric aura” of Asperger’s Syndrome.
“For most, if not all, of the multicultural, immigrant and Indigenous multi-barriered youth we work with, POWER is the first and only access they’ve had to the arts,” said MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ artistic director Elaine Carol. “These are young people who have, in some cases, fallen through the cracks of the educational, social and justice systems of our society. Through this project we hope they will learn to use art as a vehicle for healthy, lasting personal and social change.”
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