Young people are invited to take the chance to be a part of Derry’s About Us 2022

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, January 9 at midnight and winners will have their work on display in the live installation in Derry in March 2022, at the start of UNBOXED, – a celebration of creativity in 2022 that will take place in the north and Great Britain.

Award-winning poet Stephen Sexton of Derry was recently named to the list of judges for the competition.

The theme of the competition is “connectivity and the universe”, with young people invited to submit either a poem, a scratch animation project, or both. The project is supposed to reflect on “the many ways in which life across the universe is intertwined”.

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It is hoped that the initiative will spark creative inspiration for young people and the About Us microsite is available to help find inspiration with everything from whale songs to astrophysics.

With the theme set in place, the goal of the competition is to enable people to look at the world with fresh eyes and to help others understand the wonders of the world from a new perspective.

The About Us events will be a large outdoor event taking place in five different cities, including Derry. From March to May 2022, About Us will take place for a week in Paisley, Derry, Caernarfon, Luton and Hull and will feature multimedia installations throughout the day and mapping screenings every evening.

The evening performances will transform the buildings and landmarks of each of the five cities into a vast canvas featuring bespoke entertainment, cutting-edge map projection technology set to an all-new score by composer Nitin Sawhney performed by local choirs.

Derry poet Stephen Sexton.

During the day, outdoor facilities will incorporate submissions from the About Us contest and the winners will be announced on February 28, 2022.

Derry will also host another massive facility in 2022 along the banks of the River Foyle. “Our Place in Space” will take people through the solar system in the form of a trail.

The other judges of the free poetry competition are Simon Armitage (poet laureate), Ghislaine Boddington, Ifor ap Glyn (national poet of Wales), Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, Kathleen Jamie, Keith Jarret and Rachel Riley.

Dr Imafidon said: “STEAM is all about creativity. I am excited to see the creativity of the next generation as they explore what connectivity looks like in our universe and beyond.

Judith Palmer, Director of The Poetry Society, said: “The creativity of young people never fails to amaze us. We can’t wait to see what inspires young people about science, the natural world, and the network of interdependence that connects us all.

Martin Green, Creative Director at UNBOXED, said: “It is fitting that the ideas and inspirations of children and young people shape the opening event of UBOXED through a national competition that brings together poetry writing and technology.

“About Us is an invitation to consider our awe-inspiring universe, a large-scale exploration of the vast networks of connection that take us from the Big Bang to today. I am so excited to see how these epic themes will be enriched and emboldened by the contribution of young people. “

The About Us contest is free and open to youth living in NI between the ages of 4 and 18.

The closing date is Sunday January 9, 2022 23:59 GMT.

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