Penificent and Eugene Ankomah

On Thursday 6 May we heard about two fantastic creative projects. One was by the Penificent team, who use comics and digital art to address knife crime, and the other a visual artist, Eugene Ankomah, who uses a wide range of artistic media to highlight the issue.

As usual we began by remembering knife crime victims, and their families, and particularly Quamari Barnes, close to what would have been his 20th birthday.

Penificent explained their vision and passion: to provide comics which are relevant, relatable, powerful and inspiring. They bring positive messages to young people by engaging them in stories, and enable them to express, understand and bring their own responses and perspective to contemporary issues. They have a range of comics addressing knife crime and mental health issues and take workshops, and their comics, into schools to share with children in years 5 through to 9. We’re grateful to Anthony and Darren, and Nathalie and Lydia who spoke eloquently about reaching young people with their important message.

Eugene Ankomah, in just one aspect of his work as a visual artist, creates art installations by working with groups of young people to make an immersive artwork that, through all kinds of creativity, voices the feelings and experiences of young people in response to knife crime. In June, working with RTK, Eugene will bring this fantastic project to Francis Barber’s Wandsworth site. We are hugely looking forward to working with the students across all the year groups.

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