Writer, performer and producer Siana Bangura has written a guest blog this month all about the upcoming TEDxYouth@Brum in our Patrick Studio next month. She delves into what they have been working on and why this event is celebrating the fantastic youth of Birmingham.

Oxford Dictionaries’ annual ‘Word of the Year’ in 2018 was ‘Youthquake’.

It’s fair to say 2017 and 2018 were sobering years of trials and tribulations in the UK and abroad with shock and uncertainty being the only things we could bank on. It was a period of political change, with young people tipping the balance of power, showing up, showing out, and using their voices (and their votes). The ramifications of that are still being felt as we speak.

With this in mind and with Brexit looming above our heads, Zeddie Lawal and I put our heads together and decided our small contribution to the ongoing conversation would be the curation of the next TEDxYouth@Brum event. As producers, curators, and community organisers, between us our work focuses on centring the voices of the most marginalised in our communities, including our nation’s young people – the collateral damage to the mistakes of people far older, who really should know better.

Having witnessed the success of the first TEDxYouth@Brum conference, which focused on courage, we felt empowered to continue the marvellous legacy and pay homage to Birmingham’s young people, especially as Birmingham itself has been noted as one of the ‘youngest’ cities in Europe.

This year, continuing our partnership with Hippodrome, the theme of our conference is An Age of Change. Layered in its meaning, this is a theme calling on all involved to explore what it means to be a young person today, navigating the many changes that are typical of adolescence and early adulthood as well as bearing witness to the many changes taking place locally, nationally and internationally. What does Brexit mean for young people in and outside of the UK? What does it mean to be a global citizen? What part can we play in meaningfully tackling the challenges posed by climate change and environmental damage – one of the biggest challenges of this generation? Is change always good or often bad? How can we survive it and thrive, even?

We invite you all to help us answer, or at least explore, these questions and more on Wednesday 27th March 2019 in the glorious Patrick Centre.

We’ve been beavering away over the last few months and are thrilled to be able to confirm a stellar line-up of local Brummies who will take to our stage and share their idea worth spreading. We’ll be welcoming the likes of singer, entertainer, and businesswoman Jamelia; as well as decolonial activist, cultural producer, and curator, Aliyah Hasinah; and the likes of theatre director and facilitator Jay Crutchley! More names are soon to be announced so keep an eye on our social media for more – you can find us on Instagram (@tedxyouthbrum) and Twitter (@TEDxYouthBrum).

Tickets are almost sold out but if you’re quick, you can grab the last few from: www.birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/tedxyouthbrum-2019/

If you’d like to see talks from our previous conference on the theme of ‘Courage’, you can check them out on YouTube by searching TEDxYouth@Brum .

We can’t wait to meet you in March and spend the day exploring and (re)imagining together – let the countdown to the big day begin!

Siana Bangura | TEDxYouth@Brum 2019 Co-Curator


Siana Bangura is a writer, performer and producer hailing from South East London, now living and working in the West Midlands.

Her wide portfolio of work includes a collection of poetry, several short films, and the upcoming documentary, ‘1500 & Counting’.

Siana is one of the co-curators of TEDxYouth@Brum 2019 and is deeply passionate about centring marginalised voices, particularly those of young people.

To find out more about Siana’s work visit: www.sianabangura.com

And catch her tweeting at @Sianaarrgh