I have designed a short dance piece which abstractly and creatively tells the sad story of one young victim of knife crime. I want to keep his spirit alive and raise awareness about knife crime.
Quamari Serunkuma-Barnes was a vibrant, happy boy with his whole life ahead of him. Then, on January 23rd 2017, just outside his West London school, he became another victim of a mindless act of teenage knife crime in an unprovoked attack. It’s a day I’ll never forget. I was driving along with my baby to collect my other kids when I saw Quamari lying in the road - seconds after the attack. A guy passing also stopped and we held Quamari’s hand and comforted him. When the ambulance arrived we helped the paramedics trying to save his life. Tragically Quamari died a few hours later in hospital. He was just 15.
Quamari lost his life in minutes, but his family and friends will live with it forever. This has to change. And I want to be part of that. I decided to use dance as a medium to connect with young people and I’m creating a short show to express the emotion of Quamari’s tragedy - one that touched so many lives. Our first performance will be in April, at an event organised by Quamari’s dad to celebrate his son’s short life and to plea for an end to knife crime. On that day we’ll dance for Quamari and celebrate who he was, such a positive and inspiring character.
Afterwards I would potentially like to take the show into schools and youth groups to help spread the word about the terrible impact of knife crime on so many.
Creating a show costs money. People have been incredibly kind and many brilliant professionals are donating their skills and time for free - but we do need something towards rehearsal spaces, costumes, dancers, lighting & lots more. I’m aiming to raise £2,000. If you can donate anything at all I’d be incredibly grateful. If you’re unable to contribute that’s fine, but please share this page with anyone who might be interested. Or anyone wanting to get involved on the day I am looking for help with filming, photography and lighting. Please help me keep Quamari's name alive – and put on the very best show for him, his family, his friends and our community.
Any extra funds would be used to develop the piece and take it further.
I want to tell the story of two young boys. Both had very different upbringings with very different futures. One’s life was taken, for the other, his freedom lost. One boy will be fondly remembered forever, the other’s life is defined by the anger of a few seconds. They were both 15. The pain of this tragic moment will last forever - for some, every single day.
I want Quamari's story to be retold again and again. To create positives from the darkness, to help other young people create hope for the future. Quamari has died but his spirit will live on.
I knew Quamari for less than an hour but he touched my soul. I feel a responsibility to keep his name alive – to tell the horrifying truth about knife crime. So many young people think it's normal to carry a knife. Our children are desperate for help and guidance. I believe that the arts can help inspire the youth in a way that statistics just can’t.
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