In every country where there is social unrest, various types of wars, gang violence and terrorism, there are youth who feel marginalized, worthless and powerless. Youth who have been neglected either by their family, the community, the economy or an entire political system. These events easily convert to feelings of anger, distrust, hatred and fear. In this state they are vulnerable to becoming criminals, gang members, soldiers, and/or religious fundamentalists. This in turn has a great societal impact and often leads to being imprisoned or even death. We started working in this field because, as grown men with first hand experience, we believe that it’s our responsibility to show that there are positive ways to deal with these obstacles. Every flower has the right to bloom even if it’s got to grow up through the concrete.
Our vision is for all young people to be learners and leaders, be nurtured, safe, active, healthy, included, respected and responsible. Although we believe that challenge and turmoil can undermine development in these areas, we also believe that it can be a catalyst for change and growth. We strongly stand for the idea that the arts empower youth and can change their lives for the better, as well as have a positive impact on their immediate surroundings, community, family and environment. The youth should be recognised, as active partners in their own development.
“We believe in arts to empower the youth”
Who we are
Kiran Shriemisier (28 years) is a Surinamese/Dutch music producer, trainer and storyteller with a background in Psychology. In his youth rapping was a tool to reflect and to express himself, It helped him to transpire and transform into the person he is today. Through the lens of hip hop Kiran delivers music producing and storytelling workshops with Young in Prison. For Young in Prison, Kiran has travelled to South-Africa, Portugal, Greece and Afghanistan, delivering training and workshops for and with youth in conflict with the law. He also is a trainer and facilitator at Young Happy Minds, an organization that seeks to increase wellbeing for young people through the lens of positive psychology. Kiran has a degree in interactive design, a bachelor Applied Psychology (BSc) and a Master Social Psychology (MSc).
Martin Travers (45 years) From the UK is an international muralist and professional visual artist with a background in graffiti/street art and mural painting. He travels the world painting murals and working on community arts projects. His goal is to work towards building positive creative alternatives for “at risk” youth and he frequently uses hip hop as a means to that end. Martin has been giving workshops on youth empowerment through the arts for more than 10 years. He spent more than two years as a workshop facilitator in juvenile prisons around the Netherlands and in South Africa for the organization Young in Prison. He is the co-founder of Kala Sikchya Initiative, a project that aims to bring art permanently on to the curriculum of low-income schools in Nepal. He has also been a guest lecturer and workshop facilitator at the Kathmandu University Arts Department in Nepal. He is certified in “Youth Arts” through the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Dublin.