Carousel is an award winning learning disability-led arts organisation based in Brighton, UK. founded in 1982 to promote the active involvement of people with a learning disability in the arts, teaching new artistic skills and developing existing talents. The organisation collaborates with local partner organisations such as the Glyndebourne Opera House, Pallant House Gallery, Junk TV and the West Sussex Arts Partnership. Local museums and galleries across Brighton and Hove also host and support work created by Carousel participants.
From January – July 2018, Carousel and Screen Archive South East collaborated on a film project called Silver Screen. Carousel worked with local SEN schools – Downs Park School, Downsview Lifeskills Link College and Headstart School. Early films from Brighton and Hove made by pioneering filmmakers George Albert Smith and James Williamson from the 1900’s were shown to inspire young people to make their own short film.
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, we worked with 30 students from these schools to produce short films informed by the heritage material. We ran workshops including filmmaking (lead by Carousel artists Tina Dickinson and Jason Eade), foley sound effects and soundtrack skills. The students also worked with the Carousel House Band to produce the music to their films.
The schools made four films, which were screened at Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts alongside their early film counterparts. The films then went on tour in the Modern Marvels Travelling Film Booth. They were shown at venues across the region, including The Phoenix Gallery, Brighton Library, Depot Cinema, The Garden Café, St.Anne’s Well, Brighton Film school, Brighthelm Café’, Community Base, Saint Augustine’s Centre and the University of Brighton’s School of Media building on City Campus in the ‘Modern Marvels Travelling Film Booth’. This was accompanied by a hand drawn map by local artist Helen Cann. The map highlights key locations in Brighton & Hove where early films were made and produced.