Northern Lights: Documentary set to capture the true devastation that knife crime causes
Normally it is something trivial, losing our keys; having a popped car tyre; missing a bus. And normally such happenings don’t carry any detrimental consequences.
We’ve found over many years of engagement and outreach that this is the same mentality taken by many parents/carers and professionals. To make a stance against serious youth violence this mentality needed to be changed as it was preventing some young people from receiving fundamental education on such a life changing topic.
The vision was clear; capture the voices of the friends, families, and communities of those affected by knife crime. The voices were captured in a documentary called Victims Voices. We teamed up with Big Take media to travel around Sheffield to interview those that have felt the true devastation of knife crime.
Episode 1 remembers two victims; Marcus Ramsay who died following an altercation at a house party on 08.08.20 and Kavan Brissett who was stabbed at a car park on 14.08.18, but later died from his injuries.
This episode consists of 5 interviews that show the effects of knife crime from different points of view. We had the pleasure of sitting down with:
Allison; Marcus Ramsay ex-partner who describes the difficulties of bringing up their daughter without him being around and no matter how hard she tries she feels that she cannot fulfil both parental roles.
Gemma; a friend of Marcus tells us how she tirelessly battled to keep him alive while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Along with the trauma that comes along with such a brave and fearless act.
Andy; Kavans ex teacher, reminisces of his memories of Kavan and how he took him under his wing during his time in school. He goes on to tell us about how he is fighting knife crime and how him and his son Joshua climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Kavans memory.
Libby; Kavans Aunt talks about the difficulties that the family is still having over his death and how she has still not yet come to terms with it and that it may be something related to having no closure as nobody has been held accountable for his death.
Finally, Nancy; the former chief editor of the Sheffield Star gives her opinion on knife crime and how she believes that it could be reduced.
To premiere the episode 1 of victims’ voices, we held an event at the Town Hall that was introduced by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield. 80 people packed out the room to see it and were blown away. The documentary and the artwork were exhibited for two weeks and open to the public from 9am – 5pm. We held private showings and delivered talks to schools, youth clubs and alternative provisions from around South Yorkshire. We were even able to get sessions delivered within the exhibition from Your Stance, a NHS project created to show young people how to administer emergency first aid, from Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to a stab wound. Additionally, we had days were South Yorkshire Police and the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit set up information tables to give support and advice to those that cam the exhibition.
We had the help of Becca, Chainna, Bella, David and Freya, students from Sheffield Hallam University, to find the names of the victims of knife crime since 2008 to be displayed on the tree of opportunity and gather facts on knife crime for artists to create a piece of artwork created by Dean Rogan, Sara Prinsloo from It’s Okay Project and K Creations.
We were also able to ask Jason Heppenstall of HeppoArt, our metal sculpture to add two feet by creating more of a trunk to the tree of opportunity with a further 200 weapons that were prevented from reaching the streets of South Yorkshire.
Episode 1 of victims voices can be found on my YouTube channel ‘Big Ant’, along with another documentary ‘Risk vs Reward (Always An Alternative)’ that follows me and my fight against knife crime across South Yorkshire, be sure to let us know what you think.
We would like to thank the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) and the Central Local Area Committee (LAC) for their funding that made this project such a success, the staff at Sheffield Town Hall and everyone that went to visit.
Our plan is to shoot 5 more episodes of victim’s voices including more from families and friends of murdered victims across South Yorkshire; victims that were fortunate enough to have survived their attack; knife crime preparators; perpetrators families and finally, a look into preventative projects run by communities, local authorities, police and schools.
If you would like to get involved in victims voices project or feature on our podcast, please get in touch via email [email protected]