The Samosa partnership with UEL
Our students' films
Students have produced a range of films that highlights various social and cultural issues. These can be viewed on The Samosa's website and form part of the charity's media and diversity education programme resources for schools, colleges and universities. The films will also be screened on campuses as part of a curriculum development programme between UEL and Samosa Media.
In our the most recent collaboration, students researched and discussed what identity means to them, within the context of wider debates. The content included:
- The experience of having a disability
- Being a young black man in London
- What it means to be a feminist today
- What it means to be British
Assigning roles within the film projects
Working with Samosa Media Education Officer, Natalie Marshall, and professional filmmaker Victor Rios, each student was given a role such as website developer, camera operator, production assistant, researcher, and film editor. The students were therefore able to experience what it is like to collaborate creatively on sensitive issues according to an external brief, and to deliver on time.
Filming during COVID-19
COVID-19 meant that mid-project the team had to quickly make changes that affected the production. But with patience and imagination the students managed to complete what has been a valuable exercise in creative collaboration. The website the students created is available as an educational resource to provoke discussion around diversity in schools, colleges, and universities.
Another collaborative project involved investigating the effects of sexualisation within the media on young women over two terms in 2018/2019. The students' series of films covered subjects such as the hurdles you have to overcome to become a lingerie model; the make-up and beauty industry; and different perceptions of male and female virginity. A website was created which forms part of The Samosa Media educational resource pack available to schools.
In 2017/18 the collaboration saw the production of two films. One addressed issues around the 70th anniversary of the partition of India and the other looked at Britain's future 'partition' from the European Union through a Brexit debate. Both films can be accessed below:
- Partition Stories was a film of interviews and reflections on the Indian Partition of 1947 and its legacy today for India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Britain.
- Brexit: A Country Divided? took the form of a political debate at UEL that was streamed live and then published in edited form on the University’s online magazine, Rising East.
In 2017/18 Journalism students also explored the Government's anti-radicalisation strategy The Prevent Programme. The resulting film airs a range of opinions on this anti-terrorism strategy, touching on issues such as extremism, gender equality, terrorism, Islamophobia, and freedom of speech.
Of the various collaborations Anwar Akhtar, Director of Samosa Media, said,
The work aims to diversify the curriculum and to broaden the learning experience of all students, but with an additional focus on those from black and ethnic minority (BAME) backgrounds. Each project has generated resources that will help teachers and youth and community workers developing their curricula. Through its work with the University of East London, Samosa Media has helped working-class and often BAME university students to gain confidence in communication and critical thinking, and to gather knowledge about social issues that affect them."
Need to know more?
For further information on this curriculum mentoring partnership between BA Hons UEL Journalism and Samosa Media please contact Simon Miles senior lecturer in the School of Arts and Digital Industries S.P.Miles@uel.ac.uk or Natalie Marshall Education Officer or firstname.lastname@example.org
Samosa Media connects film, spoken word and multi-media artists with young people and uses film, theatre and journalism to provide creative spaces for young people to explore cultural and social issues. The organisation works to embed diversity in the arts and humanities curriculum, this work is supported by The Portal Trust, The Arts Council, The Foundation for Future London and The Sir Harvey McGrath Foundation.