Marcus Smith, a successful graduate of OBV’s Bristol Councillor shadowing scheme has been awarded £4000 to support a groundbreaking project created from the ground up, geared to inspire young people to become more politically active but with a twist.
Tapping into pop and celebrity culture as a means of engaging young people, the project ‘Political Animal’ launched by Smith 23, will develop a website allowing young people the space to create ideas, while providing them with a platform to communicate. ‘Political Animal’ is a not-for-profit organisation and is non-partisan.
Marcus hopes that the website will assist local young people in seeking funding for projects, whilst enabling them to work in partnership with other organisations at home and internationally.
Speaking about the project and explaining its relevance to young people Smith commented:
“The role models of today, whether you like it or not, are celebrities and reality TV stars. My generation can easily name and recognise Lady Gaga and Wayne Rooney, but would not be able to identify their local MP or the President of China…
Political Animal believes the powerful forces of celebrity, sport and pop culture can be used in a more ethical and educational way.”
Highlighting the popularity of the project prior to securing the initial funding he went on:
“The idea of Political Animal came to me last year, and is already up and running at a grassroots level on Facebook, it has many fans – just search for ‘Political Animal.”
Smith who is also an actor and a recent graduate from Reading University completing a degree in Politics and International Relations, played Stephen Lawrence in the documentary ‘The Boys who killed Stephen Lawrence’ aired on the BBC, and has starred in Blackberry commercials.
Francine Fernandes, head of OBV shadowing schemes said:
“Marcus has a real desire to inform and inspire others about the benefits of democratic and civil participation. He is a creative thinker, and an articulate and passionate speaker. His genuine desire to improve and serve the community where he lives are key qualities which will help him complete the project.”
For more information about ‘Political Animal’ contact Marcus at: firstname.lastname@example.org, you can join the project on Facebook too.
By Richard Sudan