Over 100 children took part, from Charles Edward Brooke, Lillian Baylis, Dunraven and Park Campus secondary schools, and from Telferscot Primary in Balham. Fifteen artists and teachers supported the young people, helping them create artworks of high quality in pursuit of The Genius of Hitchcock, the BFI’s contribution to London 2012.
BFI Southbank has been hosting Lambeth schools ‘in residence’ for the last three years. We invite schools to bring their teachers (or vice versa!) and put our buildings, assets and expertise at their disposal. For many, it means exploring the Mediatheque, using our Learning Spaces (kitted out with high spec equipment by our partner Lambeth City Learning Centre), and venturing into the spaces next door (the Poetry Library, Clore Ballroom, National Theatre). Sometimes we involve them in the programme – though we like teachers, with children, to choose what they do.
The rationale is simple: BFI Southbank is the UK’s national cinematheque, but it is also a cultural cinema for Lambeth. Children, through local schools, are as entitled to feel that they belong here as anyone else. And the evidence from these photographs shows that it’s possible to get children and young people concentrating, creating and responding to silent film by British cinema’s first true genius.
All of the photographs were taken by Michelle Cannon, who is also the evaluator of the BFI Cultural Campus programme. The Lambeth Ring Residency was generously supported by Lambeth Council.