Two Years On: Has the Left Done Enough to Engage the Voices of the Riots Generation?

The Left and the London protests two years on:

“On a cold Saturday evening last March, the huge crowd queuing on a damp street corner in Bethnal Green looked like they were waiting in line for a club. Pumping music with African drumming riffs could be heard inside the venue, and outside the crowd of young, ethnically diverse Londoners engaged in lively conversation.

“If they don’t let us in soon there’s gonna be another riot out here!” Laughter rippled along the queue who were waiting for the premiere of Riots Reframed, an ambitious documentary produced within the communities where England’s 2011 riots took place.

The film is a project by Fahim Alam, an Oxford Law graduate from Hackney born to Bangladeshi immigrants parents. Alam spent six weeks in prison on remand and a further six months on an electronic tag after being wrongly accused of hurling bricks at police during rioting in East London.

It follows from the national success of Riot From Wrong, an inspiring documentary made by youth film collective Fully Focused Productions. Frustrated with biased media reporting when the riots broke out, the team went out with their cameras to capture the real story, with impressive results.

Riots Reframed fuses a biting critique of Britain’s social and economic deprivation, with powerful spoken word poetry and an urban soundtrack of dubstep and grime. Both the film’s content and style speaks directly to the generation of young people most profoundly affected by the dehumanization of London’s poorest communities”.

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