We spoke to Queren Ngiay, student at Oxford Brookes University, about her experience of the Access Aspiration programme and how it has impacted her career so far. How did you come to be on the Access Aspiration programme? I first heard about Access Aspiration in sixth form when my homeroom teacher gave us an introduction
My City and Me – Spotlight on: Tascha
It’s now been two months since we launched My City and Me – a project that gives young Londoners a creative platform to tell their Covid-19 stories. We have also joined forces with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York to connect NYC and London youth and share experiences of the pandemic.
We have seen some incredible artwork over on our content page so far, as well as over on the DocumentarNYC platform. So, to find out a bit more about our young creatives, we spoke to Tascha about what motivated her to sign up to the project and explain the meaning behind her most recent artwork.
Home town: Camden
How has Covid-19 affected you?
“I am currently working one job, having lost two permanently and the rest are somewhat uncertain. Therefore my income is considerably less than my anticipated income over the past few months. In terms of my other commitments, the youth collectives I normally attend are either inactive or offering digital alternatives, both of which are frustrating and make me feel as though I am not developing my career at this point.”
Why did you decide to take part in My City and Me?
“I really wanted to have my voice heard and use this time to contribute creatively to this end. I have already been thinking about how I can respond to this situation through my blog and my own youth collective Assemblage and speak for other young people in the creative industry, who are in a similar position to me. I think it’s vital that we present the position of young people at this time, whose voices are being lost in this necessary but incredibly disruptive time. This is the perfect opportunity to share our stories creatively so other young people don’t feel so alone.”
Why did you choose to make this piece?
“This response is a collage composed of old exhibition guides that I came across whilst sorting. This spoke to me as a specific lockdown experience in a number of ways. For one, the fact that tidying brought this work about because I, and many others I’m sure, have used this time to declutter and reflect on what we actually need. Secondly, as an avid exhibition goer who considers museums a fundamental part of my being, looking over these exhibition guides was a nostalgic and slightly bittersweet encounter. Thirdly, I not only visit the V&A but work there on a zero-hours basis and, as many of my roles before lockdown were visitor-facing, I have lost a lot of work. Having spent so much time there and in so many different capacities, my inability to go felt particularly strange.
Over lockdown, I have created a lot of collage. It is a medium that requires only what you have lying around the house which is, in my case, plentiful. It is a means of reflecting on past experiences, of giving value to what has passed by uniting remnants into something whole that has a new identity quite apart from those memories you may associate with each individual cut-out piece.”
This project is supported by our incredible funders, Berkeley Foundation and Citi Foundation. With thanks to our friends at Media Trust.
How Access Aspiration kick-started my career
Ali Siddiqi took part in our Access Aspiration programme in 2018. He is now an Apprentice Surveyor at JLL. Here he shares his journey into work. Access Aspiration opened doors for me and gave me opportunities I thought I would never have access to. Not only did it help my confidence and grow my self-esteem,
My City and Me – Spotlight on: Tascha
It’s now been two months since we launched My City and Me – a project that gives young Londoners a creative platform to tell their Covid-19 stories. We have also joined forces with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York to connect NYC and London youth and share experiences of the pandemic. We have seen