Fighting the street crime war

South London might appear a hotbed of street crime, if the stats are anything to go by, but at the same time there’s a consistently strong cultural movement against the carrying of knives and guns. Borne out particularly by young musicians, filmmakers, and other groups of young peope, their attitude is perhaps best summed up by Grime artist Tinie Tempah, who said he’d rather young people followed his actions rather that his words, doing something positive with their time rather than being preached to (full video interview coming soon).

The 19-year-old chose to shoot his latest music video in Camberwell, just down the road from where a Goldsmiths College media and sociology student lives in New Cross halls of residence.
Amienata Sillah, also 19, was two years above murdered 15-year-old Kiyan Prince at school – and last year came runner up in a short film competition in conjunction with FourDocs. Her film, Knife Crime: It’s Not a Game, focuses on knife crime and features an interview with one of Kiyan’s friends.

A little further down the road, in Deptford, the team behind Soul Control are based, as is Duwayne Brooks, a friend of Stephen Lawrence who was with him the day he was fatally stabbed not all that far away 15 years ago. Duwayne himself is currently busy preparing for the launch of his charitable foundation which aims to help other victims of crime.

On this evidence alone, it seems that despite the horrors of the past ten-or-so years, South London continues to flourish, and will not be beaten.

Check back soon for in-depth interviews and stills and hear Amie, Duwayne and Tinie explain just why life goes on in South London.


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