Culture

Use Your Head – from Integrate Bristol

Music video part of a national campaign to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and promote gender equality

#useyourhead The young people of Integrate Bristol launch groundbreaking new music video featuring members of the public, politicians and celebrities. The video is part of the young people’s national campaign to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and promote gender equality. Integrate Bristol premiered 'Use Your Head’ on the 20th June at Bristol City Hall and will be officially releasing the music video on Thursday the 26th of June. The young people who have been taking Bristol, the UK and even the world by storm, will be launching an epic music video for their new energetic campaign song – “we hope this will make people sit up, listen and take action.” (Fahma Mohamed, Integrate Bristol Junior Trustee) ‘Use Your Head’ is the title of the song and the music video features people dancing and singing along to show their support for the cause to end violence against women and girls (VAWG). Politicians and Ministers including Jane Ellison, Minister for Public Health, Stephen Williams, Minister for Communities, Lynne Featherstone, Minister for International Development and Bristol’s elected Mayor, George Ferguson all feature in the video. Other famous people include the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Bristol Magnum photographer Martin Parr and Northern Soul dancer and YouTube star Levanna McLean. “It was important for us to feature famous individuals as well as members of the public to show the range of people willing to give their time and energy to contribute to the young people’s message.” (Oliver Zimmermann, director of the music video) The video also features a vibrant array of characters, including break-dancers, the kebab sellers from Easton Take-Away, a lollipop man, members of the Women’s Institute, the owner of Solanki Stores in Windmill Hill, a police woman on her horse and many more. Rising YouTube star Naz Ahmed, also known as ‘itsthatnazchick’, features prominently in ‘Use Your Head’ and delivers the main campaign message with a feisty performance. “We really want this video to go viral – the more people that watch it and share it the better. A lot of hard work has gone into it and we all really came together and enjoyed ourselves. But this song is different from anything we have done before. It’s a really catchy and upbeat track that gets people going. I’m really confident about the music video and the song’s success in getting our message across.” (Naz Ahmed, Integrate Bristol young person and rapper in the music video) The ‘Use Your Head’ event at City Hall on the 20th June was co-hosted by Fahma Mohamed. In addition to launching their new campaign song, the young people of Integrate Bristol demonstrated a pioneering media based educational resource on female genital mutilation (FGM), aimed at year 6 children. They also held a panel discussion about why education is so important and the changes that are needed to tackle FGM and gender-based violence in the UK. The young people of Integrate Bristol have had a stream of high profile projects. Having overcome at times fierce opposition, the charity has grown from a small group of four terrified teenagers in 2008, writing poetry about the then taboo subject of FGM, to a thriving group of over 100 young people to date. In 2010 – 2011, thirteen girls from the project made a drama doc for radio that was featured on Woman's Hour; in 2011 – 2012, twenty-seven girls made the award winning film Silent Scream that has since gone global, winning the 2012 First Light Young Voices Award and reaching well over 300,000 views on YouTube. In 2012 the young people also hosted a national conference for 300 delegates at Bristol University, featured on Newsnight and advised on a two parter for BBC Casualty and an episode of Law and Order. In 2013 they wrote and performed the critically acclaimed play My Normal Life, a production that placed female genital mutilation (FGM) firmly within the context of violence against women and girls (VAWG). This year, Fahma Mohamed, a young trustee of Integrate Bristol, launched a petition to Michael Gove asking him to write to all schools reminding them of their duty to safeguard girls from female genital mutilation (FGM), and in a few short weeks, she had over 234,375 signatures. Working together with the Guardian newspaper the young people of Integrate Bristol launched one of the fastest growing petitions change.org has ever seen. Michael Gove agreed to meet Fahma and four other girls and conceded to their demands. Three days later Gove visited their school and joined one of the FGM lessons, designed by the young people, to observe best practice. “Imagine the husband of Sarah Vine being fronted up by five brown girls in headscarves, wanting to talk about vaginas!”, Fahma joked at a head teachers conference earlier this year. The young people of Integrate Bristol created a song called 'Buckle Up' that became part of the ‘Fahma Campaign’, and from that point on seeing girls on the front page of national newspapers became the norm. ‘Buckle Up’ was promoted by the Guardian, change.org and Upworthy and became the anthem of the charity’s 2014 ‘Fahma Campaign’ against female genital mutilation (FGM). Various high profile figures, including fellow women’s right campaigner Malala Yousafzai, who met with Integrate Bristol campaigner and young spokesperson Muna Hassan, publicly declared her unwavering support for Fahma’s campaign. Most notably, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, who reinforced Fahma’s call to use education as the tool for change, vehemently supported Fahma’s campaign and met with her to discuss the Integrate Bristol approach to tackling female genital mutilation (FGM) head-on. Along with the exciting launch of Integrate Bristol’s new campaign song ‘Use Your Head’ this year, two of the young women from the charity are also involved in the organisation of the Youth Summit hosted by the Department of International Development in July 2014. The courage, determination and eloquence of these young people continues to mesmerise the British public and increasingly, people are listening to their passionate voices. The release of their new music video 'Use Your Head' will launch the charity’s 2014 campaign for education on gender-based violence, including female genital mutilation (FGM), to be introduced in all UK schools. The music video will be available on YouTube and the single will be available for free download on iTunes from the 26th of June 2014. Please reference the Integrate Bristol website address http://integratebristol.org.uk/ and the following information in any articles printed about the #UseYourHead music video or when quoting from this press release: The music video was produced by Zed Productions and the song was co-written by Rosina Buck and Naela Rose, in collaboration with the young people of Integrate Bristol. Follow Integrate Bristol on Twitter: @FGMsilentscream – please tweet #useyourhead Follow Integrate Bristol on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/integr8bristol integrate bristol 2 use you head bristol

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