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Kensal Rise anti-knife crime artist Eugene Ankomah begins three month residency at Capital City Academy

PUBLISHED: 09:00 02 November 2019

Re-Claim: Artist Eugene Ankomah

Re-Claim: Artist Eugene Ankomah

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A Kensal Rise artist has joined forces with a Willesden secondary school to recreate his interactive project against knife crime.

Eugene Ankomah's Reclaim installation in Southwark is to be recreated at Capital City AcademyEugene Ankomah's Reclaim installation in Southwark is to be recreated at Capital City Academy

Award-winning Eugene Ankomah has begun a three month residency at Capital City Academy in Doyle Gardens.

The 39-year-old, who lives in Mount Pleasant, is working with pupils to recreate his ground-breaking project, Re-Claim: Memories LiveD launched in Southwark last year.

His installation on eradicating knife crime looked like a scene in chaos, but on closer inspection there were flower bouquets, drawings, paintings, handwritten notes and photographs.

It is a project he wished to bring to the school.

Eugene Ankomah's Reclaim installation in Southwark is to be recreated at Capital City AcademyEugene Ankomah's Reclaim installation in Southwark is to be recreated at Capital City Academy

"I'm thrilled to be able to work with Capital City Academy," he said.

"They have been active and instrumental in bringing together various community experts and specialists, such as youth workers, the police and parents in the war against young people carrying knives."

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He added: "We're recreating memories but this time connecting it to Brent and the stories of Brent. Just look it up on Google, all the people who have been stabbed and murdered.

Re-Claim: Artist Eugene AnkomahRe-Claim: Artist Eugene Ankomah

"We want to bring in some of these people and use the artistic voice as a way of speaking on their behalf and remind young people about the pressures of life."

Tragically one of Capital City's own pupils, Quamari Serunkuma Barnes, was stabbed to death outside the school gates on January 23 2017 aged just 15.

"Teachers are making [Quamari's family] aware of the project. It would be brilliant to have their input with the whole thing."

In December 2017 father-of-three Eugene won the Best Creative Artist category at the Black British Entertainment (BBE) Awards.

A year later he was awarded the BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) People's Choice Award 2018.

Capital City's director of Art, Kim Lee, said: "The project 'Re-Claim:' is an opportunity for young people to reflect upon and highlight the effects of knife crime through a creative process.

"We are excited about the healing, community cohesion and exposure to art that this project will bring to our students and local community."

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