Dante’s tale of how he escaped the inferno of gang culture

A former gang member from South Norwood has made a satirical film to raise awareness of the dangers of gang culture while also showing how to shrug off the stereotyping they face.

Dante Powell-Farquharson: film shows danger of gangs

Dante Powell-Farquharson: film shows danger of gangs

The film – Breaking the Cycle – will premiere at a free screening next Wednesday.

Dante Powell-Farquharson, 22, and his friend Mohamed Idle, 21, working with a group called Fixers, have made one of three short films that are to be shown at the contemporary arts space at 47-49 Tanner Street, Bermondsey, from 7pm to 8.30pm, on February 27.

“We wanted to make a satirical, unique film which depicts a failing gang to emphasise the message that being in a gang is far from the best choice to make,” Powell-Farquharson said.

“We want to inspire any young person who is lost – and who is thinking of joining a gang – to stay away and make the right choices, and we also want to show other people that stereotypes may force people into a gang culture.”

Joining a gang at 14, Powell-Farquharson is keen to help other young people to avoid making the same mistake.

“I know first-hand just how risky it is,” he said. “You end up being caught in a Catch 22 situation. You look out for each other and the gang is like your support network, but you are mixing with people who are often extremely dangerous to be around.”

Fixers is a movement of 16- to 25-year-olds across the UK who are supported by the charity to take action and change things for the better, addressing any issue they feel strongly about.

How each Fixer tackles their chosen issue is up to them – as long as they benefit someone else.

The screening will also feature the work of two other groups of Fixers who have chosen to make films to get their message across and it will be an opportunity to find out more about the Fixers movement.

“Young people get so much bad press and this is a chance for them to showcase the good work they have been doing,” said Esther Coward, a Fixers’ Young Person’s Co-ordinator.

“The Fixers films prove how dedicated young people can be when it comes to taking action to change the world around them in a positive way.”

The award-winning Fixers project has already supported almost 7,000 young people. Now, thanks to a £7.2 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, Fixers aims to work with a further 20,000 young people over the next three years.

Fixers is a project of the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT), a charity that brings together mainstream broadcasters, public and voluntary sector services, and viewers.

Next week’s screening is open to everyone. If you would like to attend, please email esther@fixers.org.uk

To find out more about becoming a Fixer or getting involved, visit www.fixers.org.uk

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