It’s like screaming help to the deaf


“It’s like screaming help to the deaf”

MK shares his experiences of youth violence in Pain and Panic, a collaboration with Luwxwa for Take Back the Power.

In his brilliant articulation of some of the stories that have been shared in the research process so far, MK worked with our digital documenter, Richie Luwxwa to create visuals from online footage of youth crime which help bring the words to life.

Chilling lines such as “Mum pray for me, cos this could be my last verse,” help listeners have a glimpse into this paradoxical world of simultaneously being fearsome and fearful, at once a child and also someone who knows more about violence than most adults will ever know. Many of the researchers described feeling like they’re living a parallel life - where people see the surface of you, but don’t know what you are carrying inside.

The track hits on several other key themes from the research process so far; including feeling outcast and let down by the education system, the pressure to perform masculinity, looking for a sense of belonging, being exposed to trauma from an early age, and feeling “trapped in a cage where demons lead the way” - the constant decision between staying involved or taking what can feel like impossible steps out.

MK, 17, lives in Tottenham and he and his brother make beats in their home music production studio which was part-funded by his wages from Take Back the Power.

The project works on learning from the researchers’ own stories, and from them deciding on a course of action to help others who are experiencing similar struggles. The researchers are currently designing short and long-term interventions for young people who ‘are involved,’ to try to help them to change their mindset and seek the help they need to try to get out of the ‘cage’ described in MK’s work.

You can read a one-pager of the key findings so far here.

Stay in touch! We would love to hear from you on Instagram or Twitter or if you have any questions relating to Take Back the Power, the researchers or their findings please contact Lita Wallis,

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