Tower of London: Remembrance Sunday

At the Tower of London is a new installation ‘Beyond the Deepening Shadow: The Tower Remembers’, which will fill the moat with a sea of individual flames, signifying a public act of remembrance for the lives of the many fallen and honouring their sacrifice.

This poignant tribute created by Designer Tom Piper and Sound Artist Mira Calix will run for eight nights, leading up to and including Armistice Day 2018. An ever-evolving installation, which will transform each evening over the course of four hours, between 17:00 and 21:00.

Tower of London
Spectators viewing Beyond the Deepening Shadow

The telling visual spectacle will be accompanied by a specially-commissioned sound installation; an auditory adventure depicting the shifting surge of political alliances, friendships, love and loss in war. At the epicentre of the sound installation is an innovative choral work combining One lighted look for me by Sound Artist Mira Calix with words from War Poet Mary Borden’s Sonnets to a Soldier.

Beyond the Deepening Shadow will begin with a procession led by the Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London. Emerging from the fortress; the Yeoman Warders will ceremonially light the first flame, accompanied by representatives from the armed forces and volunteers – who use the flame to ignite the thousands of other torches around.

JLDN spoke to a spectator “the 10,000 light display they had surrounding the Tower of London was really moving and really quite touching, I hope it stays beyond the eleventh”

Historic Royal Palaces, which manages the tower, was keen to mark the centenary of the Armistice after the success of the 2014 display of red ceramic poppies pouring out of a window and filling the moat.

UK teens fear culture of knife crime

Children as young as thirteen are being stabbed in a tide of violence sweeping Britain, but the reason for the spike is the subject of heated debate.

Knife crime in the UK is the most pressing concern for teenagers today, according to a survey conducted of more than 1.1 million 11- to 18-year-olds by the British Youth Council.

Speaking on behalf of UK Youth Parliament, Brahmpreet Kaur Gulati, said: “Knife crime in the UK continues to escalate and for far too long, the threat of knife culture has not been addressed by decision makers and this needs to change”

The results come just after knife crime hit a new record in England and Wales, as the latest statistics show violence continuing to soar and the number of cases solved falling.  The Office for National Statistics said the total of 14,987 knife crimes in the year to the end of June was a 15 per cent rise on the comparable figure 12 months earlier.

Meghan Elkin, head of the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice, said knife crime has been rising for four years “There have been some improvements in recording by police, but we do think this is a genuine increase”

Meraki News asked Jay Odell, 19 ; a second-year film student at LSBU who was held at knifepoint in May by a boy on a bike outside a cash machine,  how it affected him “I feel anxious since the incident and have to look over my shoulder on a daily basis due to this knife epidemic.”

The disclosure of the bleak statistics will heap pressure on both the Metropolitan police and London Mayor Sadiq Khan as a report by the government cited drug dealing and social media as key drivers, but police have called for more funding to turn around the loss of thousands of officers and voluntary groups are attacking cuts to youth services.  

According to a recent Unison report, between 2010 and 2016 – £387m was slashed from youth services; between 2012 and 2016 – a grand total of 603 youth clubs were closed.  

Sian Berry, a Green member of the London Assembly, revealed that in the last five years £28m has been slashed from council youth service budgets in the capital, resulting in the closure of 36 youth centres and a 48% cut in council youth service employment. “It’s really hard to prove a direct link between youth crime and youth services,” Berry told me. “But there has to be a link between young people having nowhere to go and young people being left to hang out in unsafe spaces and interact with each other in ways that are not constructive and also feel alienated from society.”

Cuts to youth services combined with one in three local authorities in England admitting they have nowhere for excluded children to go, leaving them vulnerable to violence and criminal exploitation.


Race and the Criminal Justice System – Perception v Reality

Ethnic minorities are more likely than their Caucasian counterparts to be both suspected of and victims of crime in England and Wales, according to a landmark Government report that lays bare the deep-seated racial inequality across the country.

The Race Disparity Audit, launched by Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday, reveals that black, Asian and mixed-raced people were over one and a half times more likely to be arrested than white people last year.

The same group was also more likely to fall victim to crime than white people, with nearly one in five being hit by crime in 2015-16, compared with 15 per cent for white people.

The Mixed ethnic group were more likely to be victims of crime, despite the relatively low perceived likelihood for this group.


While overall arrests in England and Wales saw a decline of 5 per cent last year, a breakdown of ethnicity shows that while for white people the figure has fallen by 10 per cent, for ethnic minorities it has fallen by just 1 per cent.

Meanwhile, ethnic minority groups also emerged as being most likely to be victims of crime, at 19 per cent compared with 15 per cent of their white counterparts.

Although the proportion of white adults experiencing at least one crime fell from 17 per cent to 15 per cent in the three years to 2016, there was no significant change for ethnic minorities.

These figures are echoed in people’s fear of crime, with a smaller proportion of white adults reporting fear of crime compared with Asian adults, adults from other ethnicities and black adults. Asian adults and adults from the other ethnic background category had the highest levels of fear of crime.



Mission to Legalise Cannabis in the UK

poster at hyde park

We travelled to Hyde Park on the day of 420; a day for cannabis users to protest for the decriminalisation  of marijuana – for both, medical and recreational use. Our presenter Valeriya interviewed Phil Monk, a firm believer in the medicinal benefits of this currently illegal drug to gain insight into this leaders revolution.

Presenter, Script and Research: Valeriya

First Camera and Editor: Gabrael

Second Camera and Audio Recording: Yasser

Alex Ander – Florence to the Future

Alex Ander at Mercato Metropol

Enveloped in the organic ambience of this food market; I speak to Alex Ander, now 24, born in the Netherlands who arrived in London via Florence, about to end his shift. A proud Fiorentina fan; after calling it home for 22 years, he reminisces ‘Italy is always home’. Maybe, that’s what attracted him to the Mercato Metropolitano, its Italian artisanal heritage. I dig deeper, to discover there is a lot more behind his path merging with this superb food market.

After studying Gastronomy at degree-level in Fiorentina and then completing a masters in Travel and Tourism at the University of Westminster, he has quickly rose through the ranks in 3 months and now is a manager in the making. Although; playing tennis with the General Manager, Alessia, in his down time may have had an impact.

Speaking candidly, he admits the transition from university life to his full-time role has been a learning curve and his job does not come without sacrifice ‘even last year I was partying, but now I have understood real work – in a few days I will have 7 events in one day’, whereas previously he had only sampled part-time work as a bartender and youth worker. Alex sees this as the key cultural difference between the classic Florence and bustling cosmopolitan city that is London, ‘Italian culture has failed to embrace the youth by only giving them limited roles’ professionally.  In contrast, London and specifically the Mercato Metropolitano sees the youth as the future.  

Alex comes across charismatic, yet humble. ‘I did communication sciences skills in my masters and use it to builds good relationships’, his favourite part is meeting customers and workers alike under this ‘roof of food and music’. He eloquently answers with a relaxed demeanour, what it is that makes the Mercato Metropolitano special, ‘do you see any big brands around here like Coca Cola? No. We create jobs for local people with local products, promoting and investing in local farmers. Giving back to the community, not only in an economic aspect but also to the children – we offer free cooking classes for children, where parents can learn too’.  ‘Healthy food can be simple yet affordable’. The key word is ‘we’ – he sees it a team effort, a ‘little village’ and envisions this little market expanding.

Expressing how the Mercato Metropolitano has rose from the ashes of an old paper factory to the social hub of Elephant & Castle captures Alex’s dedication to this project. As the evening crowd disperses Alex hints to the future: ‘I would like to open my own place; no rush, I am 24’.

Students welcome jobs in Borough Market

Borough market recently went under £300 million worth of redevelopment. Vinopolis closed it’s doors at the end of last year and the sites new owners, Sherwood Thames Ventures/Meyer Bergman – engaged SPPARC Architecture to draw up plans.

The major commercial mixed-use scheme was designed to bring retail, offices and a cinema, around a new network of pedestrian lanes between Stoney Street and Park Street, immediately to the west of Borough Market.

Subjected to severe scrutiny from residents in the local area and regular market goers such as Jeff Pulis, 65, who voiced this investment would ‘modernise the architecture, not in line with its heritage’. Concerns were also raised at the public consultation stage. 

However, construction went ahead resulting in employment for the likes of Antonio M.Barros, 20, an international student at London South Bank University studying product design; who says, ‘without this job, I wouldn’t have any chance of staying here in London, it’s so expensive!’ 

According to the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS), the average annual cost of living in England (outside of London) for students is £12,056. If you wish to study in London, you should expect to pay £15,180 per year for the same breakdown of goods and services.


What is the point of analytics in the newsroom?

In the past, newspapers could only see how much papers were sold and that was the sole data available to them, used as a measuring stick to analyse how the paper is doing. However, due to the rise of modern technology news corporations have had to adapt to providing instant news. The most efficient way of providing a constantly developing service is to use ‘analytics’, in other words, monitor what people are most interested in and design their content to meet these requirements. 

Underbelly Festival

a picture of underbelly festival seating area

The appropriately named Underbelly Festival is literally located in the underbelly of Southwark, a unique pop up show that runs from April to September

It presents a multi-arts offering for tourists and graduates who want to unwind in their evenings enveloped in warm ambience, relaxing atmosphere and indulge in food from different cultures complimented with a healthy dose of drink, healthy – is subjective of course.

Elizabeth Abbott, 23, a graduate of Fine Arts from Manchester and a current employee at the burger bar situated in the underbelly festival; recommends it to graduates and tourists, rather than students as it is ‘a little bit expensive’. She has recommended it to friends and family as it’s ‘perfect to sit outside and bask in the sun’ whilst there are a host of enthralling shows on all year around from September.

Whether appreciating the visual feasts of drag queens in all their glory in ‘Briefs: Close Encounters’ or exploring Miss Polly Rae between the sheets, showcasing her breathtaking combination of striptease and song.