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Young People’s Award Jurors and 1000 yellow figures kick off day one of the International Festival

On the opening day of the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival, Festival Director Fergus Linehan, Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame MSP and members of the International Festival Young People’s Award Jury unveiled the  Anything That Gives Off Light Installation at the Scottish Parliament ponds.

The Anything That Gives Off Light Installation is the result of a collaborative project between Edinburgh International Festival and 1000 school pupils from 24 primary schools across the City of Edinburgh. During May and June, a group of Scottish-based writers and visual artists were teamed with schoolchildren to explore their aspirations and ask them to consider light as a form of inspiration. Taking two Festival productions as a starting point – National Theatre of Scotland and The TEAM’s production Anything That Gives Off Light and Scottish Ballet’s Emergence choreographed by Crystal Pite - each young person painted a figure and wrote a poem exploring themes of light. 

The installation will be exhibited throughout the International Festival from Friday 5 – Monday 29 August and also forms part of the artistic programme of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, held at the Scottish Parliament from 24 to 26 August. The Culture Summit is a biennial event that brings together culture ministers, artists, thinkers and arts leaders from around the world. The theme of Summit 2016 is ‘Culture: Building Resilient Communities’, highlighting the vital role that culture plays in the life of any successful community.

Scottish Parliament Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame MSP said: “This project is a wonderful way to give recognition to the role of young people in art and culture in Scotland and I am pleased that the Scottish Parliament is able to play its part in showcasing their work. It is also a wider celebration of the art and culture that embraces each and every part of the city throughout August. I hope that visitors to Holyrood will explore this installation as part of their visit. It will certainly be an interesting talking point.”

The opening day of the International Festival also marks the beginning of a ‘critical’ journey for our Young Jurors, members of Festival Young People’s Award judging panel. From The Glass Menagerie to Così Fan Tutte, passing through Sigur Rós, not even Alan Cumming will escapes the eagle eyes of our Festival Young Jurors.  Hailing from Castlebrae Community High School, Broughton High School, Portobello High School, Royal High School and Holyrood High School, the 17 participants will attend 19 productions and events throughout August, inscrutably assessing what they have seen. To help prepare, they participated in a 3 day Jury Workshop at the beginning of August and have special access to post-show talks, events and meet & greets with artists and key Festival staff.

All this hard reviewing work will culminate in the International Festival Young People’s Awards Ceremony of 27August at the Edinburgh International Festival headquarters in The Hub. The Jury will decide on their own criteria for the awards categories, offering a unique point of view in their final awards ceremony.

The International Festival Young People’s Awards has been adapted in collaboration with the Festival’s Creative Learning Team by the Canadian research and performance group Mammalian Diving Reflex. Since 2008, the company has been taking their Children’s Choice Awards project around the world, travelling to cities in Canada, Belgium, Finland, Australia and Germany.

Mammalian Diving Reflex has an extensive record of developing reflective artistic work for children and teenagers since the mid-1990’s. At the centre of their experimental approach are the viewpoints and experiences of young people and the question of how art can be used for a more comprehensive vision of a democratic and inclusive society.

Both projects are initiatives conceived and delivered by the International Festival’s Creative Learning team. Anything That Gives Off Light activity forms part of a year round programme of work for young people delivered by the Edinburgh International Festival. The workshops were made possible through the continued support of The City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland.


Read more about the Anything That Gives Off Light project

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