Writers from St Raphael's Estate in Neasden pen creative book to deter youths from crime
PUBLISHED: 06:45 13 May 2015 | UPDATED: 09:54 13 May 2015
Adam Tiernan Thomas
A group of six writers from a housing estate in Neasden have published a book featuring writing, photographs and essays in a bid to encourage youngsters to choose creativity over crime.
Extracts from “Authors of the Estate”
This physical book will play as a psychological prompt in every home.
It will be a reminder that great things can be achieved in estates like ours.
This will give the young people of Brent an alternative way of thinking rather than feeling the need to resort to crime
We were labelled as those who had no aspiration, those who would never amount to much, those who could never get a word in…
…then we started writing books.
Where we used to start mischief, we now start businesses.
We used to write raps, now we write books.
Less poverty, more prodigies.
Overseen by 22-year-old André Anderson, the “Authors of the Estate” has been delivered through the letterboxes of more than 1,000 homes on the St Raphael’s Estate where all the contributors live.
Mr Anderson, a writer and graphic designer and former student at Wembley High School, said: “With ‘Author’s of the Estate’ we are putting literature directly into the hands of those who need it most.
“We are targeting 16, 17, 18-year-olds who are heading in the wrong direction. We want to try and get them pulled into writing before they are confronted with crime in an effort to make art dealing into the new drug dealing.”
Writers Raze, Predz UK, Jade Snyper, Kayden Bell, Nathaniel Telemaque joined Mr Anderson to pen the 100-page book, which aims to tackle crime, antisocial behaviour and unemployment through education and self-expression in a new generation of writers and features a foreword from former Brent South MP Lord Paul Boateng, .
Mr Anderson hopes to extend the Authors of London project across the capital by orchestrating a series of “mini cultural earthquakes” to create a chain reaction.
He has already been encouraged by the responses from the book, including one man who has been inspired to publish his own about his own experiences of life on the estate
Speaking of his plans to involve hundreds of young people in changing perspectives through the creative arts, Mr Anderson said: “Being an author and being an authority is the same thing. Those who rule are those who write.”
The book was funded by Starbucks Youth Action, a project for young people between the ages of 16 and 24 which aims to bring their ideas to life through a training programme.
For more information about the book visit authorsoflondon.com.