Street Book project reveals the creative talents of young people with dyslexia

The Creative Briefs dyslexia Street Book project.

Earlier this year the Creative Briefs project received funding from Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce to help young people with dyslexia to create a ‘street book’, promoting a better understanding of dyslexia, a condition that affects 1 in 10 people in the UK.

HULL IS THIS has been following the progress of this engaging large-format arts project. Editor Jerome Whittingham recently caught up with the project’s creative participants who explained what the ‘street book’ project is, what message they hope people will take away, and how more individuals and businesses can get involved with further street book work.

PODCAST: The Creative Briefs dyslexia Street Book project.

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Jacob: It’s kind of about what dyslexia is, like in a good way, like all the positive stuff, like all the creative stuff.

Yasmin: I’m Yasmin, I work at Creative Briefs, I do pretty much a bit of everything. So we’re creating a street book which is going to be large scale illustrations and poems that raise awareness of the issue of dyslexia.

Jerome: How’s this project come about? How’s it funded?

Yasmin: We were awarded a grant from the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce, that has allowed us to do all of the development of this project. We wanted to do some large-scale artwork because it’s got a lot of impact when people see it. We’ve done some at festivals previously, Freedom Festival and The Sesh, so we’ve repeated that this year. So what they’ve done is, they’ve worked with poet Vicky Foster who’s mapped out their experiences of dyslexia, and they’ve picked out key words and then from there they’ve worked with an illustrator, Johnny, to create a storyboard to tie ideas together. They’ve worked a little bit with The Broken Orchestra as a well, to make sounds that complement the story. On the illustrations you’ll find a QR code which will then link you through to the website where you can experience all of the audio and all of the input from the children that’s gone in to the book.

Joshua: So hello, I’m Joshua, I’ve worked with Creative Briefs for quite a few years now, maybe three years, and I also do a lot of work with the Junior Design Factory, which is of course run by Creative Briefs but is also run entirely by the junior designers.

Jerome: Tell me about the project you’re working on at the moment.

Joshua: So, at the moment we’re working on a street book, which is going to be based around, purely around dyslexia. So, most of the kids in the Junior Design Factory are dyslexic, including me. So we could express to those that aren’t dyslexic what it’s really like – we could describe dyslexia as a person, an item of clothing, an object, a shape, anything.

Jerome: Why a street book?

Joshua: Well, a street book is something different, it’s something unique, before this I didn’t even know what a street book was, I didn’t know it was a thing. The clue’s in the name really. It’s just a massive book that you can have, with massive pages, that are just spread along the street. Our plan is to, of course, spread them around Hull, instead of them all being on one single street though.

Jerome: Tell me about your input to this project, what you’re doing specifically for this project.

Joshua: I guess it’s more the raising of awareness for dyslexia, so for me it’s quite a special thing because a lot of people would say ‘oh dyslexia is purely about reading and writing, you can’t read, you can’t write,’ well, of course that’s not true. So we’re trying to put this in a way that people can learn from what dyslexia really is. It’s a lot more than ‘you can’t read, you can’t write’. There’s a lot more to it, and this is what we’re trying to do with the street book, we’re creating more awareness about what dyslexia really is.

Jerome: The pages of the book could possibly be sponsored by local businesses and organisations, is that right?

Yasmin: Yes, we’re really looking for the support from local businesses and organisations, because each of these pages are going to be in really great footfall areas around Hull, and it will have a lot of impact. It really helps all the kids that’ve been involved, but more than that it’s just an opportunity to put their name alongside some really great artwork poetry that’s been created a lot of artists within the Hull and Humber.

Joshua: Many companies up to now are involved, we’ve had Ships and Pigs, and obviously HULL IS THIS have been sponsoring the project, they’re going to be sponsoring a page, but also people and companies who just want to get involved – there are many events that we’ll be at.

Johnny: I’m Johnny Rowe, I do the videos and the editing, and the drawings.

Jerome: What do you hope people looking at the book are going to learn about dyslexia?

Johnny: Just that it’s not a case of ‘I can’t spell’, it’s a lot more than that, and I think it affects people a lot more than that. So, hopefully it’ll bring a new understanding about dyslexia.

Website: Creative Briefs

[Jerome Whittingham, Editor, HULL IS THIS]