Create Live! is Create’s online, interactive project initiative developed to reach participants during the lockdown, offering a creative lifeline to the most vulnerable adults and children in isolation.
Over three days in April 2020, Create’s professional photographer Alejandra Carles-Tolra delivered photography workshops with young carers from Kingston. Mary* (13) has been caring for as long as she can remember for her younger brother Harry* (11), who has Down Syndrome and diabetes.
These are her reflections on the workshops:
“Over the last three days, we’ve been looking at different techniques for taking pictures, experimenting with different objects, and expressing our creative sides by taking photos. Doing a creative workshop over video call was actually really good because of the break-out rooms where we could work in smaller groups. It was a lot easier to use the technology than I expected it to be. The only difficult thing is WIFI for some people isn’t always so good. It was a really good workshop for being stuck inside!
“I learnt that when I put my mind to something, I can create good work and really improve my skills.”Young carer Mary
“I’ve learned a lot about using light in photographs from the workshops. Alejandra was a really good teacher and I learnt a lot from her. She was good at getting everyone really involved in the workshop and taking turns. I would like to continue to work on being more unique in my photography and adding a bit of a spin to each picture. I learnt that when I put my mind to something, I can create good work and really improve my skills.
“Lockdown has impacted my caring role a lot. When my parents have work calls I have to look after my brother. In the morning I get up and help out with managing Harry’s diabetes. I’ve been caring for him my whole life, or since I was two as that’s when he was born. I don’t find it too hard because I’ve never known anything different. I find looking after him quite easy now. Since the lockdown, the biggest changes are being around family a lot more. It’s really nice but sometimes it can get quite stressful with the whole family in the house and Harry.”
“It was really good to work with other people. It was good to see what other people can produce and see their take on things. It was a really great experience to meet people who are also young carers and know how I feel. It was really good to meet everyone and find out their ideas about this project.”
Name of young carer and her brother changed to protect anonymity