Secret Garden

The Secret Garden was a film project delivered in partnership with MediaBox, Manchester Libraries, Contact Theatre and Manchester Youth Service. The project involved 30 young people and engaged them in every aspect of film making(script writing, casting, storyboarding, acting, directing, sound and editing).

The three short films produced were based on anonymous secrets which were posted into secret boxes located at the partner venues. Participants then selected some of the secrets and worked with scriptwriters on the project to produce a script, which was then professionally made with the assistance of and mentoring from professional film makers.

As a part of the project, there were several screening events which allowed the community to watch the films and to ask the participants about their experience on the project.


The Saul Willaims Experience

The Saul Williams Experience

In 2010, Manchester welcomed Saul Williams when he made a one-off visit to the city as part of the Literature Festival and Black History Month.

One of the most outstanding Slam poets of his generation, Saul Williams has many lyrical accolades under his belt such as winner of the 1996 Nuyorican Poets Cafe’s Grand Slam Championship, featured in the documentary film SlamNation and star of the 1998 feature film Slam. He has performed with The Fugees and Erykah Badu, as well as Sonia Sanchez and famous beat poet Allen Ginsberg.

Young Identity arranged a series of events around the festival, with Saul appearing in a Q&A session at Contact Theatre and performing at Band On The Wall.

With music provided by the Speakeasy Band, and members of Young Identity performing alongside their hero, the event was an exciting and fully enjoyable session!

Don’t Tell Anyone But…

“There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns; there are things we do not know we don’t know.” – United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld

We live in a world of secrets and walk among experts of social espionage. With Don’t Tell Anyone But, Young Identity undressed deception and let the truth walk naked in the garden of reality. A night of cabaret, Young Identity style, with musical musings, poetical pyrotechnics and a healthy serving of real secrets.

The poetry in this show was based loosely on anonymous secrets collected from young people in several Manchester venues. The show was an exploration of the issues young people face in Manchester. This was also the first performance that many YI members were a part of.

Photography by Hema Karecha

Word Cup 2010


Where: Contact Theatre
When: July 2010
Participants: 6
Audience: 200+

WORDCUP2010 is a national spoken word project for young people. From April to July 2010, teams of 13-16 year olds from nine regions of England worked with professional poets to create their own poetry and spoken word. The teams came together to meet, write and perform at the WORDCUP Weekend from Friday 9 – Sunday 11 July at Contact Theatre in Manchester.

WORDCUP2010 was about giving young people a chance to express what is important to them through poetry and spoken word. Participants were challenged to write, perform and work creatively in a team. By meeting other young people from across the country, they became part of a community of poets sharing their stories, energy and ideas.

WORDCUP2010 brought together top spoken word artists, poetry organisations and venues from across the country, including Leeds Young Authors, Radikal Words, Spiel Unlimited, the U.K. School’s Poetry SLAM Championship, Young Identity, April’s Dawn, Arc Arts Centre, Ashcroft Arts Centre and Contact. WORDCUP2010 was a chance for people from across the literature sector to work together, share skills and develop lasting relationships for the future.

Manchester’s Young Identity also won the coveted accolade of ‘Best Lyrical Lines’!

Photography by Hema Karecha

Poetry Slam 2009

Where: Contact Theatre
When: May 2009
Participants: 15
Audience: 70+

In preparation for The Brave New Voices International Slam Competition 2009, Young Identity members competed for a place on the Young Identity team of 6 which would represent Manchester at the festival.


For many members, this was their first experience of slam poetry. Over 15 young people participated in the slam and the judges had a difficult time deciding on a winner!

Photography by Hema Karecha