The Build Your Own Politician pilot (2005) was devised by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets Electoral Services Department, to explore young people’s perceptions of politicians and to openly consider the barriers that may prevent young people from becoming politically engaged.
Build Your Own Politician was a pilot project devised by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets Electoral Services Department to explore young people’s perceptions of politicians and to openly consider the barriers that may prevent young people from becoming politically engaged.
Over a two week period, a core group of young people in Tower Hamlets worked with a participatory artist and Electoral Services staff through group debates, games, research projects, visits, interviews and a range of other creative sessions. Workshops with the core group included a photography session, a workshop on identity, media and music run by Operation Black Vote and a visit to the Black Power exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery.
Ideas and views were incorporated to produce a piece of visual work that was exhibited at the Ideas Store, Chrisp Street, before touring the borough during local democracy week in October 2005 with additional drop-in workshops.
Working in partnership with local youth groups and a wide range of young people during broader outreach sessions made a positive contribution to the project. • The project paved the way for future innovative interventions in the area such as ‘Cotchin with the Councillors’ a regular forum for young people to meet and discuss local issues with their representatives.