On Friday 25th February we launched an anthology featuring the voices of 57 young people in Rotherham as part of Truth to Power Café which formed part of the launch of Children’s Capital of Culture 2025.
The project saw many wide-ranging and creative responses from young people (aged 13 to 25) across Rotherham to the question of who, or what, has power over them. Their words reflect some of the joys, amusements, and difficulties of young lives – angry, defiant, funny, emotive and impactful – speaking truths to power, and to all who wish to listen.
Hive was able to work with over 120 young people across Rotherham for the Truth to Power Café which culminated in two shows at the Rotherham Civic and the accompanying book launched at the final show. For many, this was the first time they’d been published and this heartwarming Twitter post from Jess Hempshall, a young eating disorder campaigner, says much of the impact the book had on contributors with powerful stories to tell.
So honoured that my #eatingdisorder awareness piece is part of this inspiring ‘Truth To Power Café’ anthology book! Thank you so much @HiveSouthYorks @ccoc_roth2025 for giving me this amazing opportunity! Such a proud moment – I’ll treasure this book forever!✍🏼📖 #EDAW2022 pic.twitter.com/qtqdgrJNEH
— Jess Hempshall (@JessHempshall) February 28, 2022
This simple but important question is at the heart of performance and digital theatre project – Truth to Power Café – and we’re delighted to be working with them this autumn via Rotherham Children’s Capital of Culture!
Truth to Power Café happens all over the world but this Rotherham café is aimed at local young people aged 14 to 25 – it’s YOU we want to hear from. We want to hear your response – to speak your truth to power.
Whatever way you want to communicate your answer, we’d LOVE to hear from you, and where you’d find it helpful, we can support you to get out what you want to say. Get in touch below if it sounds of interest!
Work from the project will be published in a Truth to Power zine in print and, very excitedly, some of the answers gathered will be picked up and explored further by the mighty Truth to Power Café itself – through a live show at Rotherham Civic Theatre! They will be seeing if anyone wants to get involved in the stage side too.
There are many ways you can approach exploring this question. Your answer can be one that celebrates the powerful and impactful, for example, the influence of a family member on your life and what you’ve learned from them, or it might be a chance to talk to those you feel are accountable for things you want to see changing in the world. The power in question can be anything or anyone – your parents, your town, your mobile phone, fashion, food, the environment, a sibling, a politician, a habit, a group of people, a neighbour, a religious leader, a teacher. Anything at all goes.
Interested? Then please get in touch! Email your 100 to 500 word response to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, age, the area of Rotherham you live in, or are from, by Monday 29th November.
You can also sign up to join the Zoom here on the evening of Tuesday 30th to find out about the stage side of the project.
And if you’re 14 to 19, why not consider joining us at Rotherham Young Writers (relaxed, free, friendly & fortnightly!)
Truth to Power Café
Truth to Power Café is an internationally acclaimed performance and digital theatre event inspired by the political and philosophical beliefs of Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter and his Hackney Gang. The event is told through memoir, image, poetry, music, and film. It’s created, written and performed by Jeremy Goldstein with Henry Woolf and directed by Jen Heyes.
Children’s Capital of Culture 2025
In 2025 Rotherham will be the world’s first Children’s Capital of Culture, designed and delivered by children and young people from Rotherham. In the run-up to 2025, there will be lots of great opportunities for local children and young people, including skills development programmes and job opportunities, creative workshops and events, and exciting projects just like this one! To stay up-to-date with everything that’s happening as part of Children’s Capital of Culture 2025, please visit www.rotherham2025.com/hello