Brixton’s Ritzy cinema will tomorrow (8 December) host the launch of It’s Not That Deep, a youth-centred campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse of young women and girls.
Organised by Young Creators UK (YCUK), a non-profit community interest and creative company that supports young people aged 16-25, the launch, starting at 6pm, will include a short film shot as part of the campaign, live performances and Q&A panels with young creators.
What does It’s Not That Deep mean? YCUK explains: “Sometimes after being harassed, people respond by saying ‘It’s Not That Deep’, when it really is.
“Phrases like this undermine women and girls’ experiences when it comes to harassment and abuse, and will cause some people to shy away from seeking help and support.”
YCUK’s campaign was commissioned by Lambeth council to improve access to support and resources for women and girls experiencing harassment and abuse.
It says “a new dynamic partnership” between itself, the council and young women and men in the borough, campaign “signals a new way of providing community-driven change that is set to redefine the way communities come together to address critical issues and take control of their narrative”.
YCUK says “It’s Not That Deep” is a phrase used among young people which can belittle an experience for the victim or survivor – causing them to shy away from seeking help and support.
“The campaign not only showcases the way this statement can impact a young woman, but also seeks to re-educate potential perpetrators on boundaries and consent, as well as empower young men and women to become allies to those experiencing harassment,” YCUK says.
A series of interactive co-creation workshops facilitated by YCUK equipped young women and men with the tools needed to address sexual harassment and abuse with real agency.
“A few participants who were young women ultimately formed the steering group that developed the look, feel, and tone of the campaign,” says YCUK.
“Throughout the whole process the young women had final sign-off for all steps of the project.”
YCUK hopes to raise £50,000 at the Ritzy event and is commited to allocate 30% directly to The Gaia Centre, a service dedicated to providing confidential, non-judgmental and independent support services for people living in the London borough of Lambeth.
The remaining funds will fuel YCUK’s efforts to enhance and expand its programmes, and reinforce its commitment to create a more supportive creative environment for young people.
“By using messaging that was created by young people for young people, the initiative has broken down the barriers and stigma surrounding harassment and abuse and has created a space where survivors can access vital support and resources,” YCUK says.
“We hope this campaign helps people better understand their experiences, challenges the public narrative and that those affected by violence against women and girls (VAWG) will now consider actively seeking support,” said YCUK CEO Christoff Taylor.
Yasmin Keil, YCUK’s co-founder and head of visual and communications, said “To deliver something that’s creatively authentic and technically excellent is one thing, but for this project to support even one person in accessing support will make every late night worth it.
“I hope other young people affected by VAWG can better understand their experiences and acknowledge that sometimes, it is that deep.”
The short film ‘Its Not That Deep’ can be found on Lambeth Council’s YouTube page.
6pm. Ritzy Cinema, SW2 1JG
Images: Jennifer Arieleno/YCUK