Black Outdoor Art at Halcyon School


Last month I had the pleasure of bringing the Black Outdoor Art project into the classroom.

The Halcyon International School in London had reached out to me, expressing interest in setting a BOA-style project for their students, to celebrate Black History Month.

Students would be tasked with creating their own posters, inspired by the fight against racism, equality and social issues affecting the Black community.

All grades from 6-10 would be participating, across the school. I happily agreed to set a video brief for the project, and was blown away by their work.

The sheer creativity, empathy and engagement shown by the students was tremendously inspiring.

Even though the job of activism is typically reserved for adults, so much of the fight for equality is fought in the classroom. As it is here that we shape our future designers, thinkers and leaders.

A Foundation for Change

For decades, so much of the real activism in the UK has been focused around revising our national education curriculum, to present a more authentic and balanced view of British history.

For the story of Britain is undeniably wedded to Black history. From Rome to the UK, Africa to the Americas, and India to the Caribbean.

In order to empower our future, a future based on the kind of society we want to see, as opposed to the jarring reality we exist in, we must equip our future leaders with empathy, design thinking, and the ability to communicate ideas.

This is why bringing these issues into the classroom is so vital. I’ve often said that a poster cannot change the world, but the small change it can enable is to make for fertile ground. A foundation upon which desire for social change can be cultivated.

A selection of my favourites from the student’s work is below. But first, I’d like to express a huge congratulations to the students on their posters. Their efforts have been an inspiration, and I look forward to seeing what amazing work they’ll create in the future.

To Claire Rees and the staff at Halcyon, thanks for supporting the BOA project, and for bringing these challenging issues into your classroom.

– GB

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