Bringing it home
London is home to over 8 million people. A city with over 2000 years of history where the ancient and modern stand cheek by jowl. We speak 300 different languages, we are entrepreneurial, international and outward looking. Our dynamic city is comfortable in its diversity and the culture, fashion, music and creativity that flows from our neighbourhoods has global influence. We are proud of our city and its achievements.
But for young people, this city can be a hard and cruel, where danger lurks in the very places they are supposed to be safe. Knife crime is rising, youth violence is escalating and violence against women and girls and peer-on-peer abuse has reach epidemic levels. Young people are vulnerable and can fall into gangs – it’s not a choice. It can be a simple as the postcode they live in and too many of our young people are not free to move around this city for fear of passing through the wrong area. Something has to give and so much needs to change.
As the leading London charity working to prevent and address gang violence, vulnerability and sexual exploitation, we know that only by listening to young people, and fully understanding their experiences can we hope to provide the right responses and deliver the services they need – and want.
The Museum of London’s “This City is Ours” exhibition provided the perfect platform for young people to share their views and experiences with a wider than usual audience and we were delighted to hand this session over to young Londoners who performed spoken word in a “speaker’s corner” style-format. The event was also used to premier a new short film called “Young London” made by young people in collaboration with Spitfire Audio.
The young artists were phenomenal and performed spoken word pieces around their lived experiences, but perhaps more importantly, what can be done to make young Londoner’s safer. Their performance touched on everything from witnessing death and homelessness, to trauma and mental health.
Click here to access the Young London short film.
Here’s a look at the young Londoners that performed. . .
is a 19-year-old spoken word artist from London who aims to use the performing arts for more than just entertainment purposes but rather as a tool to positively impact change. DeeDee studied at BRIT School and is currently on a scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
is an award-winning writer & performer. He has featured on major media platforms such as ITV & Sky News. In the coming year, he will be releasing his debut book ‘Words Within Walls’ which is a diary he kept during his time in prison.
is a 21-year-old actor, lyricist and award winning spoken word artist from north London. He is a member of Poetic Unity – a non-profit organisation that specialises in alternative education and youth development through poetry and spoken word. Yossi won an award for his poetry from Poetic Unity for Black History Month and has featured on MTV, and is a regular performer at Poets Corner; London’s only weekly poetry event.
AKA Black Supahero’ is a Young Sierra Leonean poet and filmmaker, who is part of the ‘Beyond Freetown’ Collective, a group of young Sierra Leoneans working at challenging perceptions of Sierra Leone. He is also a part of Sxwks Collective, a creative group prominently based in London but with members across the UK & beyond.
AKA Abstract Benna is a Spoken Word artist from South London. He fuses observations from his environment with deep analysis to paint pictures with multiple colours. He has been commissioned by organisations such as the National Lottery, Adidas, Roundhouse, the Evening Standard, Safer London and many more.
is a former Safer London Ambassador, Trustee of the British Youth Council and Board Member for the Spirit of 2012 Trust and Chair of their Youth Advisory Panel. Carl is a 2x Tedx Speaker and uses his daily motivational videos to act as the link between traditional personal development and youth culture.