Through the Looking Glass: Life behind the knife.
Artist Emma Barnard exchanged knives for cameras in London’s Waltham Forest, working with young people with a lived experience of knife crime.
In 2021 Artist Emma Barnard was awarded Arts Council funding to run workshops for young people at risk of knife crime. Creating photographic interpretations from their perspectives, the finished photographic artworks were exhibited in pop up exhibitions throughout venues in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Equipment for the workshops was funded through the LBWF Make it Happen program.
The London Borough of Waltham Forest is one of the most deprived boroughs in London having some areas with the highest deprivation in the UK. Young people who participated in this project are likely to face barriers because of their poor socio-economic backgrounds and may have had direct lived experiences of knife crime.
This project helped young people at risk to discover and develop their creative skills in a safe space. This work was not intended to be therapeutic, however social prescribing evidences this.
The project is endorsed and supported by experienced collaborators and advisors; Iona McArdle FRSA, (Project Management), Carol Taylor Spedding BSc (Hons), PGCE (Safeguarding and Education), Styles (Life Experience and Young People), Dr Kay Leedham-Green, (Evaluation), and Consultant Trauma Surgeon Mr Martin Griffiths who is National Clinical Director for Violence Reduction with NHS England.
Life Through the Lens Workshops #1
Project Zero E17 April 2021
Over the Easter period fourteen young people (Youth Champions) attended the creative photography workshops. Using digital cameras they explored their identity, their environment and their thoughts of what they would campaign for if they were given the opportunity. Some of them had never used a camera before. The results of the workshop were exhibited at The Outset Centre, in July as part of the E17 Arts Trail.
BBC Radio London Interview
Emma Barnard discusses the TTLG: Life Behind the Knife project and exhibition with the
legendary host of Radio London, Robert Elms.
Life Through the Lens Workshops #2
The Paradox Community Centre, E4 July/August 2021
During July and August eleven young people from the Thru Life football team attended the creative photography workshops. Using digital cameras they explored their identity, their environment and their thoughts of what they would campaign for if they were given the opportunity. The results of the workshop were exhibited at The Paradox Community Centre, in August and September for the local community to view.
This project is funded by Arts Council England:
Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision. www.artscouncil.org.uk
With additional funding from Waltham Forest Council, Make it Happen: Arts and Culture Grants and Peabody London