Young people showcase city's culture

A team of creative young people who are passionate about Norwich are showcasing the city on the national stage at an event in the Capital of Culture.

Peter Walsh and Sam Emanuel

A team of creative young people who are passionate about Norwich are showcasing the city on the national stage at an event in the Capital of Culture.

After months of exploring what is important to Norwich through multi-media projects focusing on its heritage and culture, they have descended on Liverpool to get their voices heard at the culmination of Portrait of a Nation - the biggest youth project of its kind.

Influential US politician Jesse Jackson is among those joining more than 500 young people from across the UK for the spectacular two-day event.

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A team of 14 reporters who have taken part in the Norwich ID - the city's own Portrait of a Nation initiative - are attending the finale, where their creations have come together.

They were paid a visit at the event by Culture Secretary Andy Burnham MP, Phil Redmond, who is deputy chair and creative director of the Culture Company, and CiTV presenter Neil Buchanan.

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Comedian Richard Blackwood is also listening to what the teens have to say by taking part in a Question Time-style debate with them about culture and identity.

The finale is the climax of a two-year long project to encourage young people from across the UK to learn more about where they come from, talk about what makes their hometown so special, look at what culture and identity means to them and focus on their hopes for the future.

A radio show and a series of TV monitors highlighting art, history, music and culture in the city are among the creative ideas through which they are showing people from other cities around the country what makes Norwich the place it is.

Marion Catlin, cultural development officer at Norwich City Council, said: “The concept of Norwich ID reporters has really done us proud in Liverpool. Lots of people have come into our room and said it is the best at the event and we have had sell-out audiences for our radio show.

“They have come from all over the city and have bonded really well. They have had some real successes here, telling Liverpool and the rest of the country what Norwich is all about.”

Mr Burnham said: “This is a very exciting and significant moment. These young people have taken part in an incredible journey of discovery through their work on Portrait of a Nation, finding out where they have come from and what it means to be a young person in Britain in 2008.

“I'm honoured to welcome them to Liverpool, where all of us adults and the public will have the chance to listen to their views and share their visions for our nation's future."

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