videos coronavirus alchemy arts

Salford CCG and Alchemy Arts have teamed up to create 5 different videos helping people to understand the coronavirus and its effects.

Each one has been released in 11 different languages to reach the many communities in the Salford area.

Alchemy Arts was founded by Adil Muhammed Javed in 2012. Javed said: “We want to empower, educate and inspire the community. The idea is about using the medium of arts drama and technology to bring about social change.” Their aim is to put this message out to the BAME communities in Manchester and Greater Manchester.

Javed also said: “I’m professionally an actor for about 15 years in political dramas like Four Lions, Brits and Bradford Riots.

“Every time I head back to Manchester, nothing really seemed to be changing so I thought about setting up a social enterprise community group that would do stuff that would help out our community especially the black and minority ethnic community.”

Originally, after an innovation bid to Salford CCG, Alchemy Arts won a contract with Ambitions for Aging to assist the elderly in the Salford area by helping them get more comfortable with technology.

After winning the contract, things changed because of the coronavirus meaning the way Alchemy Arts had to deliver their services also had to change.

This led to the conception of the idea which became the coronavirus explainer videos. The videos have been released in 11 different languages including Punjabi, French and Mandarin.

The final project was a huge success however it did not come without its share of challenges, the aim was to complete the videos by the end of July.

Javed said: “They just took longer and longer because when you’re working in partnership you have to have it signed off by Salford CCG, Public Health and you want to have their opinion on it so it took so long to get it right, especially the animations.

“You have to make sure they’re not offensive to a community and we had to make sure the wording was right so the script had to keep going back and forth and recorded as when you tweak one word or two words of the quote or anything on the script you have to change it all in 11 different languages.”

Since the videos finally went up in September, they’ve been a massive success. 

Javed stated: “We’ve had an unbelievable response from them, unbelievable response from the communities, and some people have said to me as well, from the course, ‘you know what, I’ve learnt more about coronavirus in one video than I have in the last 8 months from watching the news.'”

As a result of the explainer videos, Alchemy Arts has been approached by other organisations to create similar content for different issues such as Breast Cancer and Dementia and rebrand their current videos for other social enterprises.

Javed concluded saying: “Sometimes, when they’re talking about issues that affect the community like dementia, Alzheimer’s , Autism, breast cancer or anything like that, what’s happening is that we’re getting them for a specific audience.

“When some one from our community is, you know, from the Muslim community, Pakistani community, Hindus, Sikh or other communities don’t see themselves as reflected in that condition or disease it feels as though it doesn’t exist for them, so it’s really important that we start understanding that we need to send those messages out to those communities and understand that the package is done in a culturally appropriate way.”



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