Keele media student produces documentary to showcase impact of Covid-19 on local YMCA

A Keele University student has produced a film documenting how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the lives of staff and residents of YMCA Crewe, as part of a Student Knowledge Exchange internship.

Abasiama Asuquo, a second-year Media, Communications and Creative Practice student, has produced the short documentary film called The Impact which will premiere online on Wednesday 26 May at 12:30pm to showcase the experiences of individuals living and working at the charity over the past year.

YMCA Crewe were impressed by Abasiama’s previous documentary, The Asylum, a short documentary capturing the profound disruption caused by the pandemic to the life and aspirations of a young woman living in Nigeria, and decided they wanted to enlist Abasiama as a documentary filmmaker to capture their own experiences.

Abasiama filming the documentary

The impetus for creating her documentaries came from a second-year module, Documentary Theory & Practice, where students were encouraged to make films communicating the impact of the pandemic on their own lives and on their local communities.

Led by Keele University, in partnership with the University of Birmingham, the Student Knowledge Exchange project has been awarded funding from the Office for Students and Research England to develop best practice and expertise in the delivery of knowledge exchange activity. The project offers civic internships, student consultancies, virtual placements, international opportunities, enterprise challenges, and curriculum design that embeds student knowledge exchange.

Abasiama said: “The knowledge exchange internship has given me a chance to push myself out of my comfort zone and has helped me to learn how to adjust to expectations. It has also given me the golden opportunity to practice film making outside the university curriculum whilst discovering other skill sets that I have."

Dr Pawas Bisht, Lecturer in Media, Communications and Culture, said: “As the convenor for the documentary module, I am extremely proud of Abasiama’s initiative and creativity in extending her filmmaking knowledge through such meaningful community engagement.

“It is also an excellent example of how Keele University is concretely implementing its commitment to supporting local communities and enabling its students to mobilise their knowledge in socially productive ways.”

To watch the premiere and recieve the Zoom link, please contact Lisa.Cormack@ymcacrewe.org.uk

Other examples of community-based Keele student-produced films can be viewed on the Stoke Stories platform.