Canongate Youth, Edinburgh

Exploring Dumbiedykes through cameras and cardboard.

About the project

Canongate Youth, based in Edinburgh and the Lothians, aims for children and young people to be healthy, happy and secure, to belong in their communities, and to become confident and fulfilled adults.

As part of their summer programme, the children and young people at Canongate Youth wanted to explore and discover more about their local community – Dumbiedykes. What better way to this than to start a project with Scotland’s Urban Past!

A map of Scotland showing Edinburgh

Cardboard cities

In June 2015, we worked with children between 5 - 8 years old to explore their local area by investigating maps and photographs from online resources Canmore and Scran before setting off on a photography scavenger hunt around Dumbiedykes. With our guidance and a lot of enthusiasm, the children looked for clues, found architectural features and photographed their findings.

Using these photographs as the foundations, the children then created cardboard city sculptures with artist Charlotte Duffy from Waste of Paint Productions. From tenement flats, hotels, pet shops, to their version of the Scottish Parliament, the children's city has it all. Showing tangible consideration and thoughtfulness for their surroundings, they even included disabled access to the buildings, recycling points and green spaces!

A photograph of a boy standing beside his cardboard building, holding a photograph of the real building.

Young film-makers

We also worked with the Thursday Club for young people aged between 8 - 11 years old. The group took on the roles of researching, script writing, acting, filming and directing to create a fun and inspiring film that offers a tour of the Canongate, Dumbiedykes and the Tolbooth from their eyes.