Introducing Surviving The State – a short film made by the young people at Shake!. This film explores the pressing issues of gentrification and youth violence/ deaths in a hope to expand narratives around these pressing issues and share how this is affecting black and brown youth.
 
In their own words: 
 
‘“Surviving the State” by Voices that Shake! came out of a collaborative filming and editing process, by young people from different areas around London during the Shake! programme ‘Healing the Cuts’ last summer 2017. State violence is present in all parts of our daily lives from racist policing, poverty, Islamophobia, knife crime/death, war, terror and “counter-terror” (Prevent), to Brexit to Trump and to May. This short film documented our journey of exploration and healing of the current states of violence.  It looks at the relationship between youth violence and gentrification, a topic and a link that is rarely explored from this perspective.
 
We’ve all seen in the media most recently the coverage of the deaths of Tanesha Melbourne-Blake, 17 and Amaan Shakoor, 16 and reports on the current spike in the rise of youth violence. 2 weeks ago it was hot topic. I remember only last week watching live coverage on the BBC on youth violence with my nan, and wasn’t shocked to find that most of the conversation lead to the cuts and the lack of provision for the youth, yet all was very surface level reasoning. With no deep rooted questions being asked or answered. It’s not just the cuts, but the new developments pricing out families and communities out of the area, and the lack of support and campaigning from the generations that have come before us to keep our centres around, to make sure the council has these centres for us and to hold them accountable. Whilst the questions are not to point the fingers, but in order for us to heal and for us to move forward we must understand the causes and for us all to work together, learn from our mistakes, heal our wounds and break the cycle. 
 
London Mayor Sadiq Khan pledged £400k to tackle youth violence. He said a knife “is more likely to ruin your life than to save it”, but as mentioned at the beginning of the film the real question we should be asking is. Will the violence stop by just taking the knives away? 
 
We need to ask the deep rooted questions and dig deeper for the answers and break these cycles of violence, not just for those that are gone, but those that are going through it now and the those that are yet to come.
 
The youth that have been named in the film were from 2017 during the making of the film, this year there has since been 50 killings to date, their names must be said, we will say their name, they are more than just a news report, a statistic.’
 
 
Steve Frank Narvaez-Jara, 20
Oluwadamilola Odeyingbo, 18
Harry Uzoka, 25
Yaya Mbye, 26
Hasan Ozcan, 19
Khader Saleh, 25
Kwabena Nelson, 22
Sabri Chibani, 19
Rotimi Oshibanjo, 26
Promise Nkenda, 17
Lewis Blackman, 19
Sadiq Mohamed, 20
Abdikarim Hassan, 17
Kelva Smith, 20
Kelvin Odunuyi, 19
Joseph Williams-Torres, 20
Lyndon Davis, 18
Russell Jones, 23
Beniamin Pieknyi, 21
Abraham Badru, 26
Reece Tshoma, 23
Devoy Stapleton, 20
this month
Tanesha Melbourne-Blake, 17
Amaan Shakoor, 16
 
‘Strength in numbers is not only about meeting the might of the opposite with everything we got. It’s about each of us finding the strength in ourselves we never knew possible at the side of another we don’t have to share blood with to feel.’ DR Jasmine Sydedullah – Radical Dharma
 
Film Link: 
 
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