Discovering cultures through the eyes of young people

In 2010 Digital Explorer, in partnership with Offscreen Expeditions, took 18 young people on a journey of a lifetime across the world from their home country to explore another with their own eyes.

Working with the brightest creative talents selected through national competitions, the expeditions sought to create grassroots portraits of each other’s cultures, seen through the eyes and experiences of the young teams themselves.

Through a range of creative, social and off-the-beaten-track activities, the young film-makers, photographers, artists and writers were supported to develop as community leaders as well as creatively.

At a time when politics and media narrative emphasise division and conflict, the expeditions act as a necessary alternative, seeking to show how the next generation have the will to forge mutual understanding and respect.

What resulted from these journeys was a rich, life-changing experience for all of the participants as well as photos, videos, and classroom resources featuring the topics explored during the expeditions for the teams to share with a wider audience. The resources and films are linked to UK National Curriculum topics and are available free to download here.

Journey to the UK

From 11th to 25th July 2010, a young international team from Pakistan, Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar explored various aspects of the UK. Aiming to go beyond the picture of the UK everyone has in their minds, they worked with politicians, artists, BBC journalists and young people, and gained a deeper understanding of just how diverse Britain is. From working with a youth magazine in East London, examining the impact of young minds on the wider community, to building a dry-stone wall in Yorkshire, giving them a newfound understanding of the value of their environment, the expedition ended up challenging a good few stereotypes about Britain – as well as cementing a few too!

Journey to Pakistan

From 14th to 26th October 2010, an aspiring group of six young people from around the UK travelled to Pakistan to meet with public figures, artists and students, and experience different aspects of the country’s rich culture. The participants went from having a largely media-influenced view of the country to a broader and personal understanding of the various challenges and treasures of Pakistan. From painting trucks in Rawalpindi to sitting down and discussing the values of Islam at a madrassa to climbing hills in Kashmir, this expedition provides a unique view into Pakistan that few young people rarely see.

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