Who Is The Artist
Kay Rufai is a Photographer, Poet, Filmmaker, Author, Creative facilitator and Mental Health researcher whose work spans the past 5 years in a handful of countries including the UK, USA, Ethiopia, Bhutan, Germany, Scandinavia, Nigeria and Colombia.
He has spent the past 3 years exploring the intersection between culture, identity, racial emancipation, mental health and community cohesion through art, photography, educational workshops and public events. His work has been featured in the Guardian, BBC, The Voice and various national and international press coverage.
What Does The Project Entail
The S.M.I.L.E-ing Boys Project is an 8 -week long happiness well-being researched creative art project that uses photography, poetry, film and discussions to empower 13 year old black boys with tools to improve their mental health, emotional literacy, raise aspirations and build positive identity as black boys.
The project will work with 20 Year 9 (13 year old) black boys at a time for 8 weeks, resulting in a series of portraits captured based on trust building with the artist, poems, illustrations and podcast audio created collaboratively with the participants, to be exhibited in their communities as well as on a national scale.
The vision of the project is to see images of smiling black boys normalised across popular media.
In light of the BLM movement and the impact of Covid-19 on the Black community, this project is so much more relevant in these times to address the systemic and institutional racism that disproportionally posits black boys as the most affected in the education, mental health & criminal justice services and institutions.
Impact So Far
What Will Your Money Pay For?
The money raised will be used to deliver five 8-week long projects (a total of 40 workshops) in 5 schools across London. This will directly benefit 100 black boys with tools to improve their mental health, tangible creative skills in photography, poetry and film as well as providing cameras for the participants.
The money will also pay for a community based exhibition, art trips, a celebration meal and completion prizes for the participants.