Young people explore experiences of racism through short films


A GROUP of marginalised young people have produced anti-racism short films in a bid to change perceptions of black and minority ethnic people in Britain.

The films, which were showcased during the virtual Notting Hill Carnival over the bank holiday weekend, each explore racism and racial profiling as experienced by the young people involved. They are part of a multimedia project that includes posters, t-shirts, digital display and face masks, all which feature anti-racism messaging.

The young creatives – aged between 13 and 22 – made the films in partnership with non-profit Create Not Hate and creative agency Quiet Storm.

The team behind Create Not Hate, a new initiative which aims to give young marginalised people in London a pathway into careers in the creative and media industries, decided to launch around Notting Hill Carnival following the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter conversation following the tragic death of George Floyd in the US and recent headlines about police racially profiling black people here in the UK.

The timing of the project was also inspired by carnival’s origins of protest, marking the abolition of slavery and its emergence in the UK pioneered by activist Claudia Jones in the 1950s.

Trevor Robinson, founder of creative agency and production company Quiet Storm, and Create Not Hate, said: “Thirteen years ago, I launched ‘Create Not Hate’ to open the eyes of black inner-city school kids to their creative potential. Fast forward to 2020 and, while much has changed, much still hasn’t. Profound inequalities in society, as well as the issue of the lack of diverse talent being fully utilised in our particular industry, remain unresolved.

“This time around, the ambition is bigger: to involve more young people from more schools and communities; more mentors from across the creative and media industries; and to secure proper funding to create a programme of activity and support that is both inspiring, for all involved, and – critically – self-funding.”

The two films – Heated Conversation and Stitches – screened during the virtual Notting Hill Carnival were created by 17-year-old Emmanuel Areoye.

The t-shirts which are part of the project have been designed by Lilo and Keiran, both 17, and Anis and Santonio, both 13; while 16-year-old Gabriel worked as part of the team that created a set of face masks.

A series of posters, including The Little Things Build Up, will also be unveiled at the launch designed by Raphael and Jaiden, both 16, and Jenelle, 17, Princess, 20, and Oshea, 19, have been displayed along the route, Notting Hill Carnival would usually take. 

More work will be launched during Black History Month in October, including the animated Racism Is Ridiculous film, the brainchild of unemployed Merton young people 22-year-olds Finn and Marianna, who were coached and will be produced by the Ridley Scott Creative Group and The Mill.

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