French exchange for Hackney youth


Young people from the Hackney Homes youth engagement project (YEP) recently travelled to Paris for an exchange with youngsters from the city.

The YEP project, in partnership with Sanctuary Housing and youth charity Rising Tide, supports young people and encourages them to make a difference where they live by getting involved in their local community whilst representing the views of their fellow peers.

The exchange project supported young Hackney residents interested in a career in music and paired them with an inner city Paris group.

Six rappers and producers, aged 18 – 22, from the YEP were given the opportunity to rehearse and perform with 14 young Parisian students at the Centre Fleury Barbara, a highly regarded venue for hip-hop in Paris.

Since 2012, the Youth Engagement Project has developed working links with a number of youth organisations in and around Paris. These partnerships have delivered UK and France based activities, events, cultural exchanges and qualifications for young people from both countries.

More than 100 people came out to hear the young talent recite lyrics of day-to-day life in London and Paris. Spectators were also treated to an exhibition of photographs of Hackney teenagers; a project which was recently commissioned by Rising Tide.

YEP member, Ade Paton said: "Collaborating with musicians in Paris was great. Although the language difference made it hard to communicate, music is a universal language. We learned some French phrases while we were there but it was the musical references that made it easy to share ideas. I had a great time and look forward to more international collaborations."

The UK group were able to experience the Parisian culture through food, shopping, networking with interpreters, collaborating and performing to a French audience.

Cllr Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Housing
The Youth Engagement Project is a great way for young people to get involved, not only where they live but also in the wider community. This programme raises the aspirations of our young people, encouraging them to wider their horizons and exposing them to new experiences.
Cllr Philip Glanville, Cabinet Member for Housing

The project team look forward to hosting the Paris youth group in London later in the year.