The contrast with the grainy images of missile-hurling, pickpocketing young “hoodies” from the summer riots could not be greater. These stunningly shot and beautifully-lit portraits showcase East London’s young creative talent and form part of a new exhibition opening on Thursday.
A group of young people have produced and are promoting the exhibition, FYI: Focused Young Individuals, in collaboration with award-winning photographer Agenda, youth-led social enterprise YH! World, communications social enterprise Poached Creative (which I’ve been involved with as a trainer) and Hackney Young Photographers.
The project focuses on young people from diverse backgrounds, each involved in some sort of creative enterprise, to highlight local talent.
As Kayla, who has blogged on this site before, explains in the story that accompanies her image (the first one featured in this post): “People feel like, because you live in Hackney you’re destined for doom, but I love the people, it’s just so diverse. I do think there is stuff to be proud of..This next year for me is about really getting stuck in media – giving young people a chance to experience media how I have, and giving them the opportunity to express themselves within media. I want to help as many young people as possible, and create a pathway for the next generation. I’m having a baby this year so my child’s gonna be in the next generation in Hackney, and I want to make it a better Hackney for when my child grows up.”
You can read more each young person’s story here by clicking on their name.
Youth-led charity Art Against Knives (AAK), which began in reaction to the unprovoked stabbing of art student Oliver Hemsley, is curating and promoting the exhibition. AAK aims to reduce the causes of knife crime through youth-led arts initiatives providing an alternative to violent gang culture. The hope with the FYI show is to connect creative industry and Hackney’s young talent, giving the young people’s work a platform in the East End’s thriving art scene.
A week-long exhibition will be at The Rebel Dining Society’s 30 Vyner Street HQ, E2 9DQ from 6 – 13 October. Site-specific displays based on the FYI exhibition open for a month on the 6 October. Admission is free.
* For more photography from Agenda, see the website http://www.agendaphotography.co.uk