Bridging the gap between students and locals: the new Dundee
Our overall vision for the Dundee 2016 Initiative is to transform the city from within, by giving young people the opportunity to inspire. The “Oi! Dundee Student Festival” aims to create an image of a youthful revived city with a friendly community atmosphere. We hope that this annual festival will have a long-term and positive effect on Dundee’s self-confidence by bridging the gap between the detached student population and the locals. We aim to improve the city’s image from both the inside and the outside.
Dundee is a university city with a large student population – a powerful group that has the capacity to drive the development of a new image for the city. The student population creates an international atmosphere coming from culturally diverse backgrounds. Students represent youth, enthusiasm and creativity, which can bring new energy to the city’s future development.
Oi! is a community development programme. It will help to involve local communities in the cultural development of their city. Most of the events will be held in public spaces, which are used for leisure activities by the locals. There will be several art and design exhibitions in the festival, interactive projections and art, design, literature, theatre and music workshops which encourage dialogue between the students, who act as organizers and the locals, who also get an opportunity to learn about culture in an engaging, interactive way.
The Oi! festival will be held in collaboration with the universities in Dundee, which will gather the young people passionate about art, design, music, etc. to showcase their creative work to the local residents and students from other cities, share their knowledge and craft and design projects and plan entertainment from fresh, alternative perspectives to create a unique experience people will seek out. Held during most universities’ spring holiday, the festival will attract students from outside Dundee to engage in the event, which we hope will boost the city’s tourism. We aim to attract foreign and exchange student tourists in particular to this event.
For one week every year, Dundee will become a Mecca for students in Scotland. A place, where young intelligent adults come up with creative solutions to entertain their peers, share their ideas and enthusiasm and bring the local community together with the future development of Dundee in mind.
1.Street Entertainment Project
The big idea
The street entertainment project in the festival concerns the disadvantage groups in Dundee: the unemployed and homeless. The project aims to help to deal with these social issues by developing the self-confidence of these people and their confidence towards life and the city.It will also increase students’ sense of social responsibilities.
In this project, there will be students as volunteers to run workshops primarily for the unemployed and homeless people in order to teach them street entertainment skills such as playing instruments,acting and making crafts and selling it. The empty factory in Dundee will be the sites of the workshop. When they finish the learning sessions, they will perform on the street and selling the crafts during the festival. After the project the unemployed and homeless will be able to making their livings.
- The project is able to make greater connectivities between students and communities in Dundee. By running the workshop, the students will have a deeper communication and understanding about the disadvantage group and also involve in the development of the community.
- The rate of homeless presentations in Dundee the have climbed over the national average rate for the first time in 2005 and 2006,which was 35 per 1,000 population.
Homeless strategy 2008-2012,Dundee City Council
“The City’s claimant unemployment rate stood at 6.3% in June 2012 compared to 5.9% in June 2011”.(Dundee Economic Profile July 2012-Dundee City Council).
Obviously, the percentage of the unemployed and homeless are high and continuously increasing. These people are part of the Dundee communities so that the Street Entertainment Project put the effort to help them to solve their financial problems and improve their current living standards by teaching them new skills.
The project will also aid new contents and forms, which is street performances,to the new culture image of the city and get the disadvantage people engaged in the development of the image.
2.Student Guided Tours
The big idea
Normally, Dundee is not considered as a tourist destination even by its citizens as there are a few historical architectures, the culture of the city was weak in context and the information of local culture events was not well popularized. During the festival, there will be large amount of students who are potential tourists in the future. The project aims to discover the interesting and special features in the eyes of the youth about the city and shows these features to the people in the Student Festival. At the same time, it will enrich the diversity of the tour contents in Dundee.
This project invites students to design and pitch guided tours through Dundee from various angles. The content of the tour will based on their personal experience about the city and also some research of the city is needed. The student will do some interviews,observations or workshops to find interesting events ,food or places. Then a panel of judges will pick 3 best tours and the winner will get some prizes. The best tours will be guided by students around the city during the festival.
- The discovery of the city will change people’s opinions about dundee as they used to think that ‘Dundee is nothing’. Rather than take tourists to so called tourists attractions just let them take pictures,the student guided tours will show the ‘real life and locals’ in Dundee, which will give them memorable and impressive experience in Dundee. The project explores a new way to build the brand of tourism for Dundee.
- The students in Dundee are from all over the world and they come here know nothing about the city.Through the project, the student themselves will get more information about the city which will also enrich their choices of leisure activities.
3.Dundee Art Station Event
The big idea
The project is to set a stage for international writers, readers, and artists. (The idea is stimulated by the statue of Desperate Dan, a famous character featured by a comic book called Desperate Dan, standing on the square out of the Overgate, Dundee City.) Stockholm, as the European capital of culture, has had a similar project for international writers with open readings and debates.
We could invite some famous writers or artists who are popular among young people to Dundee city for activities such as seminar, face to face talk, and concerts.
Universities and college in Dundee may contribute a lot to the events. We hope these organizations could invite some young famous celebrities to this city. They are the best choice to bring the city attention of students. In order to attract people from other parts of the world, and also we could make this event a monthly activity, then develop it to a famous brand.
What are the primary and secondary aims of the project.
The primary aim of the project is to bring young people’s attention to this post-industrial city which has a big population of students.
Community & Culture & Tourism: We want to focus on all these areas, the events could be hosted in different communities. Activities such as writers and artists face to face talk and concerts could bring more attention from not only their young fans but also citizens in Dundee and surrounding cities.
Additionally, it could let locals go to different communities and communicate with each other. Since Dundee is such a city whose citizens are proud of communities but not the city, So our secondary aim is to connect communities together to create the self-confidence and pride of Dundee.
Dundee is a city with a high popularity of university students, may so many young people bring the city new feelings through student festival.
4.Rediscover the beauty of community
What is the big idea
As we know that citizens in Dundee are not proud of this city. However, they feel confident in their communities. In order to change this conception, we want to let citizens rediscover this city by photo.
This is a photography project in which students take photos in communities, and have an exhibition in the community to show locals another perspective of viewing their own place.
1) There are many university students who are good at photography could teach citizens how to take excellent pictures of their communities. We want to invite some of them to give free lectures for public. The aim of this activity is try to lead citizens to observe their communities through a different view and find new beauty in the environment in where they live every day.
2) The other part of this activity is an exhibition showing the community photos taken by international students. It would bring locals different perspective of communities and this beautiful city. Citizens might discover more interesting places viewpoints and attractions which might bring them the pride of city.
What are the primary and secondary aims of the project.
As mentioned, the primary aim is to help the locals rediscover the beauty of their community. This is one of the most important parts of our project to promote the city of Dundee from inside. Because what we need is not only a impressive image of this city from outside, but also the self-confidence and harmonious from inside.
The secondary aim is to connect the students and locals together, because the link between them is weak right now. We want young students, particularly the international university students, to create and take part in local activities to enjoy the life in Scotland. Additionally, locals could know much of different culture from other parts of the world through communication with international students, which would bring citizens wider horizon.
The project development starts in April 2015 – a year before the festival launch. The organizers first need to contact subject leaders both at Dundee and Abertay universities about curricular compatibilities, since both the research and development of the animations could become potential projects for the students.
Once the academic opportunities are decided, posters will be hung up around the campuses offering these opportunities and inviting students to participate. About a week later, students are invited to a presentation, which introduces the project further and where they can sign up to participate in the scheme. A research and an animation team are put together including students and lecturers, who volunteered to act as supervisors, set deadlines and offer advice.
The research team is given two months to find out about stories, and histories of local places and buildings. A meeting is held every week of the research process giving the research team an opportunity to give updates about their findings to the animation team. This way, the animation team can lend a helping hand or start visualising ideas at earlier stages.
At the end of the research period, the research team gives presentations about their findings to the animation team, the lecturers and other stakeholders, such as the festival organizers, sponsors, interested local citizens, peers etc.
The animation team is then given 9 months to develop 5 stories to animate, write scripts, create storyboards, design style frames, make the animation, map the surface of the buildings and convert the finished videos to fit the projections. Every month the animation team will have a follow-up meeting with the stakeholders (festival organizers, university representatives, lecturers) to keep them informed about the progress of their work.
During the final month before the launch of the student festival there is time for final improvements and testing the projections. Also the project needs to be promoted, as part of the festival and also as part of a viral youtube campaign, which shows exclusive sneak peeks of the projections.
Finally the animated projections stand out as the main attraction of the Oi! Student Festival Launch Night. Based on our research of projections implemented all around the world this project should spread very fast via internet and popularize Dundee’s creativity.