Writer, artist, musician and poet Mohammad Awad reflects on his experience as our Youth Unlocked workshop facilitator in 2020
The poetry workshops for Red Room Poetry's Youth Unlocked program allowed for an incredible connection to land, culture and language for the young people who attend. The time format and flexible schedule allows for young people to be able to engage in their own capacity and for the workshop to be structured around any behavioural issues or emotional dysregulation- as there is extensive support with teachers being present to engage each young person when they are in crisis. The environment also allows for young people to apply their writing techniques from a mindfulness perspective, for instance the use of imagery in writing by connecting to the senses and stimuli around them to create poetry. Ultimately, these workshops have provided the space for young people to have a break from their usual routine, environment and academic stressors- and are given a non-judgemental space to share, learn and connect with people which is an invaluable experience for all the people involved.