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Youth United Under Fear/Love

Teenage identities are explored in a new project by the urban youth movement I Care Revolution

Mixing social media, art and community projects, the I Care Revolution is a collaborative effort encompassing a multitude of talented artists spanning everything from grime and hip hop collectives to graphic designers, VJs and bloggers. The group formed back in 2008, and was born out of a shared sense of frustration about the way London’s teenagers were being stereotyped and sidelined by mainstream politics.

“The basic philosophy behind what we do is to empower young people to make a difference in the lives of others,” riffs founding member Roughy. “Everyone wants to change the world and be remembered for doing something great with their life. Kids living in deprived urban cities can’t just get on a plane and fly across the world to help with other people’s problems, but they can make a difference in their day-to-day world.”

Fusing the mixed-media abilities of its network of participants, I Care Revolution are championing a creative response to the problems facing today’s youth, crafting a program of content that been screened to more than 10,000 students over the past year.

Central to the I Care experience is a new short film, Fear/Love, shot by veteran street artist and urban videographer Rob Chiu, aka The Ronin.  Having established himself as a leading visionary and voice on the UK’s mograph scene, The Ronin has gone on to develop a unique live action aesthetic that caught the eye of Roughy when the idea of shooting a film first came up.

“When I got on board there was no script but there was a concept,” reveals Chiu. “Well, actually it was more like a series of words that were all linked to the central theme of identity – whether that meant not knowing your identity, being ashamed of who you are, trying to become someone else, or looking for acceptance.”

Most of the kids who feature in the film were cast through the I Care Revolution’s various events and outreach programs.  “I wanted to make something that felt real to me based on what I saw as a kid myself,” Chiu explains.  “The piece is pretty minimal in terms of dialogue, so I wanted to have as much of it improvised as possible. The idea was to draw out all these real emotions and feelings so I spent time with the kids working on getting them to the place they needed to be mentally.”

Roughy and The Ronin are currently planning a follow-up to Fear/Love that’s set for release later this year. Simultaneously, the I Care Revolution are organising a Youth Leadership Day at the Indigo O2 in June, where, alongside key figures from politics, business, media and the arts, child soldier Emmanuel Jal will be talking about his experiences and how he fought against the odds to create a new beginning.  

“We fundamentally believe that young people are not bad,” says Roughy, “and we want to continue finding ways to inspire them to take responsibility and do something significant with their life.”

Check out the Fear/Love trailer below. The film will be screened in May at London’s Horse Hospital.