As part of Creativity Works: Visual Storytelling, we're highlighting each of the photographers who took part

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What Is Your London?

For many, the idea of London conjures up postcard pictures: the London Eye, Buckingham Palace. However, these depictions of the capital that we’re used to seeing in the media, advertising and the press are outdated. That isn’t the reality for young people living here today. London is nothing without the people that live in it, and each individual has their own story to tell so the participants of Creativity Works: Visual Storytelling were briefed with showing the world what their version of London is, to let the world see their perspective.

This is Bili's London...

A Gift from the Tories

The still-life in this exhibition is shown alongside a poem written for the project, by K, the girlfriend of Hasan, a victim of knife crime. The picture was produced as part of a series documenting the rise of knife crime, specifically across the London borough of Barking and Dagenham. Photographer Bilimae Latimer, herself a resident of the borough, started this project with the intent of opening up a conversation to a wider audience around the impact of the rise in violence in deprived areas. The project seeks to underline the importance of protecting the borough’s young people and investment in them.

Since the Tories came to power in 2011, there has been a 68% cut in funding for youth services within Barking and Dagenham – which has one of the highest populations of young people in the UK, with a third of its residents being under the age of 19. Even though recent years have seen a significant rise in knife crime, the councils are now planning further reductions in youth workers for 2020, despite recent studies suggesting that such cuts in youth services are directly linked to the rise in knife crime across the nation.

The use of purple within the image acknowledges the purple ribbon campaign started by the family of Jodie Chesney, a resident of Barking and Dagenham, one of the most recent victims of the violence. A purple ribbon has become symbolic for residents of Barking and Dagenham and neighbouring boroughs of the community-led effort to end knife crime.

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