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A young producer stands in front of a green screen and a laptop. Projected behind him is the image of him, with a volcano in the background © John Cairns

Barton coLAB is a team dedicated to creating a new engagement experience for young people in Barton. Through weekly meetings at Barton Neighbourhood Centre, the young people co-created a disaster-themed immersive community event. This team of Young Producers, who are in Y9-Y11 at school, collaborated with researchers and public engagement professionals to understand the implications of the disaster scenario, and to design, create and co-ordinate their own event to explore some of the ideas they find most interesting.

For Spring 2022, the disaster theme was a volcanic winter:
The Icelandic volcano Fagradalsfjall has been erupting for months, but has suddenly started emitting huge clouds of ash that are starting to block the light from the sun across the globe. Barton is getting cold! How will you face the coming volcanic winter?   

Through the Young Producers programme, this project provided 14-16-year-olds with amazing opportunities to develop their teamwork, leadership and creative skills, being in charge of everything from the budget to the set design for their final community event which took place in April 2022.

Who are we?

The Barton coLAB group is a collaboration between Barton Community Association, Oxford Brookes University and the University of Oxford. We are: Carly, Cillian, Kathryn, Lena, Sangeetha and Tyisha.

Thanks and credits

The Barton coLAB team would like to thank the organisers of SMASHfestUK for inspiration, support and training. SMASHfestUK is a narrative driven movement, co-design programme and network, and series of events, workshops and festivals with a specific mission to widen participation and build diversity in science, technology, engineering and maths, STEM, through the Arts. Find out more about the SMASHfestUK programme.


Photo credit: John Cairns