English National Opera's Youth Company thought about what the Earth looks like in lockdown: is the pandemic visible from afar, and what is still uniting us all?

By Arts Council England

Earthrise Inspiration Photo (2020-09-11) by WilliamArts Council England

Taking inspiration from the Earthrise photo from the Apollo 8 mission in 1968, the ENO Youth Company imagined looking at our planet in 2020 from afar. Visualizing the Earth from space, the group of young people zoomed in and out. As they did this, they wrote about what they saw and how they felt.

They documented these thoughts in a Haiku - a type of Japanese poem consisting of three short lines. 

From this, they then created a Haiga - a simple drawing or calligraphy which accompanies a Haiku.

They then explored how, with material found at home, they could create their very own visions of the universe and of our Earth.

Here are their Haiku, Haiga and other-worldly creations.

Photo by Nahiyan (2020-09-11) by NahiyanArts Council England

Our world is hopeful, 
Significant to see,
It's small but worth it


Photo by Louis (2020-09-11) by LouisArts Council England

I cry and scream and,
Beg for help, or wish its a dream,
But no one will help

Because in the pools, of ink;
Where astronauts sink,
No one hears you scream 

If a hand reached out
And closed a fist over earth,
Would they crush us all?   



Photo by Tyler (2020-09-11) by TylerArts Council England

We are lead through war, 
Though the war provides no win, 
True nature was found


Haiga by Louis (2020-09-11) by LouisArts Council England

On my own I frown,
Looking down from up above, 
Space fits like a glove


Haiga by Anna (2020-09-11) by AnnaArts Council England

It will change, it will
It's the only way forward
Let's stand together


Haiga by Maya (2020-09-11) by MayaArts Council England

Haiga by Maya

Earthrise (2020-09-11) by ENO Youth CompanyArts Council England


English National Opera Youth Company

Credits: Story

The ENO Youth Company is a group of 20 young people aged 13-18 who have 
worked together as a company over the course of the year, with structured sessions in the school holidays led by professional artists from a variety of different disciplines. Throughout the series of workshops, the young people are supported to express their ideas, develop their skills and hone their understanding and practice of the creative process. 

The Youth Company’s year-long programme usually culminates in the summer with a 
public performance. Given this year’s unusual circumstances, the Youth Company 
met over a series of six online sessions during the summer. Together with a 
composer, a writer & director, and a designer, they devised and created Earthrise. 

ENO Youth Company: 
Afiya, Ameerah, Amy, Anastasia, Anna, Bathseba, Elaina, Freya, Hana, Jean –Luc, Jude, Kaspars, Louis, Lulu, Maya, Nahiyan, Namih, Shanice, Tyler, Xavier.  

John Barber

Writer, Director Hazel Gould
Designer Rhiannon Newman Brown
ENO Baylis Producer Tanja Pagnuco

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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