Seacroft Youth Radio Makers Capture the Sounds & Stories of COP26




Chapel FM Arts Centre has long used radio, podcasting and oral history to gather and share stories that mainstream media might miss, especially about local community. One of the things the organisation (based in an lovingly converted old Methodist Chapel that includes a theatre, radio studios, classrooms, a community cafe and more) has been especially excited to do in recent years is give teenagers interested in media, arts and activism a platform and skills develop to tell stories from their unique point of view.


During the early stage of the Covid lockdown Chapel FM youth broadcasters started a new regular podcast and radio show, "Red Kite" that's all about showcasing stories about how young people from East Leeds see the world from unexpected and inventive ways.


At the start of 2021, many of the young "Red Kite" creators were outspoken that they wanted to find ways to understand more about the Climate Emergency and so as a group we decided that the best way was to be at COP26 in Glasgow, in person and record stories and sounds from people from around the globe.


After three months of weekly sessions learning about all sorts of aspects of the Climate Emergency and the role of COP26 is shaping the future, Chapel FM was able to bring 8 young broadcasters and artists to Glasgow for a three day audio-gathering expedition. During that time, they recorded interviews with a huge range of people from West African climate activists to social committed puppet makers to MPs to musicians seeking to create new anthems for the climate movement.


Many of these stories have already been shared in recent episodes of the radio show and podcast "Red Kite" that can be heard here: https://www.chapelfm.co.uk/elfm-player/shows/list/red-kite-youth-radio/


The group also presented a living-newspaper style theatre production at Chapel FM to share insights and anecdotes about what it was like to be on the front lines of the movement to address the Climate Emergency and will be sharing more stories and ideas about how radio, podcast, art and activism can help us all feel more empowered to address the climate crisis in the coming year, especially working with other local climate organisations.


If you'd like to find out more about Chapel FM Arts Centre's youth climate project and radio show "Red Kite" just contact: tony@headstogether.org