Kilburn creative design company launches dance film on youth violence
- Credit: Tamsin Nathan
A creative design company based at The Granville in Kilburn has launched a short dance film to raise awareness about youth violence.
The experimental film called The Other Youth (T.O.Y), created by company To The T, brought together ten London artists to challenge peoples’ perceptions and prejudices of young people.
It uses dance, costume, spoken word and music to tell the story of a local youth’s journey into violent crime and the influence adults in their life have on their behaviour and emotions.
Creative director Tamsin Nathan said: “The main aim of TOY is to evoke empathy and compassionate understanding towards this young Black male growing up in Brent and born into a challenging environment.
“We seek to empathise with his plight and highlight some of the prejudices which he encounters in his life.”
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The experimental film has a “dark aesthetic” which uses light and dark symbolism and mirrors to represent how the character faces a negative image projected onto them.
The project, which was funded by the London Borough of Culture and is part of the Brent 2020 programme, was released on December 7 and is the second in a trilogy which Tamsin, from Kensal Green, has written and directed.
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Tamsin launched To The T after her experience of being first on the scene when 15-year-old Quamari Serunkuma-Barnes was fatally stabbed outside Capital City Academy on January 23, 2017.
Her first project, Not Another Youth, was a dance performance created in Quamari's honour which depicted the story of two 15-year-olds with different lives.
The piece was performed at a memorial festival for Quamari in 2018 and at his school theatre, which has now been named after him.
In response to T.O.Y, Quamari’s father Paul Barnes said: "After what we’ve been through it’s about time we shed a light on what’s going on out there in the real world.
“It’s showing you the forgotten souls. Like the film says, he started off as a good son, then they lose their way. They are victims until they reach a certain age.”
Tamsin, a mother of three boys, plans for the third installation to tell the positive story of a youth who has made the difficult step of turning against the violent route.
She is also using her creative background to develop a youth programme with the Revo Seccus team to inspire young people through creativity, shifted mindsets and confidence building.
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