Akeim is one of 24 young artists currently making films as part of year 2 of Random Acts North, and wrote the blog below after attending our most recent residential talent development weekend at Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle.
My name is Akeim Toussaint Buck, I am a Jamaican born citizen of Leeds, UK. I dance, sing, write, beatbox and act. I am an Artist. I see art, I live art, I breathe art, and if you cut me I think I’d bleed art.
Dance is my bread and butter; teaching, creating and performing with numerous companies and for myself independently. Most recently I worked with Ballet Lorent on their second fairytale adaptation; Snow White. I am a singer/song writer in Snakebox, which is a band.
I found out about Random Acts, firstly through Jamal Gerald (past recipient of Random Acts) however I didn’t think it was for me so I forgot about it. It was brought back to my attention as I was put in contact with Ian Fenton and Patrick Collerton. Through conversations I was advised to apply to Random Acts and create a film. This excited me, as a poem I wrote some weeks before came to mind and I decided this poem would be perfect to create into a short film.
The poem is very powerful. The poem expresses a need for people to look past difference and be empowered by our similarities. I bring up our cosmic connection and our worldly body incarnate as a smaller reflection of the planet. “No need for separatism through identification. Blood runs through I like the earth’s lakes, rivers, oceans.”
My Random Act is a dance and poetic journey of human connection and vulnerability throughout Leeds City Centre.
I plan to bring this film to life by capturing the magic of Leeds. Leeds is one of the easiest going places I have come to experience in my 25 years on earth. There are so many amazing nuances of people. From the way, we dress, to the food we eat and the way we work.
I will show this through some prime locations of the city. The outside market is one of them, showing the banter of the vegetable sales people, the way they communicate with ease. I bear witness to this all the time and I always find it fascinating especially when an Iranian/Polish/Ghanaian/Jamaican/English/Scotsman are all inhabiting the same space.
We the people want a world where we can all live communally. This is the message I want to get across. Using counter or contrast imagery, for example a homeless person being ignored by the rat race crowd. This is combatted when the main character who was in the market comes along and gives the homeless person attention and a banana (one of our five a day). The unity is represented in moments of stillness, the camera is focussed on people being people; smiling, laughing, crying, getting help, redemption etc.
Over a weekend last December at Tyneside Cinemas’ Pop Up Film School we got the opportunity to use professional equipment, experimenting with our ideas. I found this so useful because it brought us into a space of really thinking of how the film works for real. I wrote a story board out of the sessions. It felt like it was all about deciphering our idea in a way that we understand and can clearly speak about it to each other. This is important because pitching ideas in the art world is everything. The clearer you can communicate the less confused people will be. You also learn what it is that makes a piece of work stand out. This is important as you learn what will grab people.
Random Acts is a great initiative as it gives young people a chance to play with their creative voice in film. I recommend others take the opportunity up and find the most efficient way of saying their idea and make it happen. Random Acts has a lot to offer and it changes with the different people who take part. I think that is a good aspect of the programme as it is random and the identity of Random Acts is very broad, like the identities of its creators and viewers.
Applications are now open for Year 3 of Random Acts North: click HERE to apply and for more information.