Rich Mix event provokes and inspires

Rich Mix event provokes and inspires
By Cissy Baillie

Cheers and laughs are not what you might expect to hear coming from a darkened cinema at an event about knife crime. But the full house of energetic young people playing PlayStation3 on the cinema screen were part of a social experiment making a serious point.

A compelling talk from Alexander Rose around the statement “violent media = violent youth” put their activities into perspective. After realising the effects violent computer games were having on him he launched STOP, a charity that fights to stop other young people falling into crime and violence.

The event at Rich Mix Cinema on 19 August also attracted Kings Cross volunteer workers who provided information for victims and friends of victims associated with knife and gang crime and youth homelessness.

These charities were in the hub of where help was needed. Several 16 to 25 year olds milling around outside and during the break were asked what they thought about knife crime. More than half of them were, or had been, knife carriers themselves and though they new it was bad, were adamant it was necessary for self defence. Many of them thought knife crime would never end but believed strongly in supporting organisations and events that promoted a violence-free community.

Two girls who didn’t seem to fit the knife-carrying stereotype caught my attention. A tragic and unprovoked stabbing of these two young girls’ friend, Oliver John Henley, motivated them to form Art Against Knives – a charity raising awareness of knife crime through art. It seemed everyone there was motivated by the urgent issue of violence in the local community and not by the idea of playing PS3 on the big screen.

Following a short break to process our thoughts we were called back to our seats for the premiere of ‘Life’s a Bitch’ – a moving short film about ‘dangerous’ dogs and the consequences of maltreatment.

The Hackney Hounds project, run by social enterprise Poached Creative, gave a unique opportunity to five girls who were either unemployed or out of school, providing them with the funds, equipment and training to develop a short film on a subject they felt strongly about.

Kayla Whiting, the 20-year-old producer/director, is a passionate Staffordshire Bull Terrier owner who thinks so-called ‘dangerous’ dogs are made aggressive through the way their owners treat them. Through the film, she hoped to change opinions and open up a real debate on the matter.

The drive of Kayla and her fellow filmmakers is what the made project special. The film was well made and gave a clear and compelling message, but the real success story was the new-found passion and creativity brimming from these five young people, as the behind-the-scenes footage showed. Zoe, the 15 year old film editor who had been out of school due to personal problems, found a new reason to get up in the morning and work hard. Her ambition: to edit films, and not just any films, but blockbusters with red carpeted premieres.

If the full house at Rich Mix is anything to go by, she’s certainly made a good start.

See full slide show here:

One Response to “Rich Mix event provokes and inspires”
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  1. […] Results: we filled Rich Mix 132 seater cinema, the blog has had 1,300 views to date and the girls have been in Hackney Today, The Gazette and on LBC promoting the film. The Dogs Trust gave us goodie bags and a years free dog care to give away on the night and Tescos helped out with free food. Read Cissy’s review here […]

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  • Contacts

    Lucy Ferguson : 07968532923 : : Unit 21, Celia Fiennes House, 8 - 20 Well Street, Hackney, London, E9 7PX
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