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Young people’s films aim to help prevent radicalisation

Published on Tuesday, September 19, 2017

YOUNG people in Leicester have created a series of films spelling out the difference between ‘radical’ and ‘radicalised’.

The films have been developed with the help of the city council’s youth service, the Prevent anti-terrorism programme and local film company Badshoes Film.

The idea is that the films can be used by professionals who work with young people to spark debate and create a ‘safe space’ in which to talk about radicalisation.

Haleemah Patel, one of the city council’s young advisors, said: “This project has been driven by young people. We understand the need for clear and constructive dialogue around world issues and topics such as Prevent.

“We need to feel safe and empowered to ask the questions we are often unable to articulate without the fear of causing offence or upset. This is one way of making sure that young people are given the chance to ask, and to explore the answers they are looking for.”

The £3,000 project was funded by the St Philip’s Centre, which leads on Prevent and other community cohesion work.

Will Baldet, Prevent co-ordinator for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, said: “Extremist groups are all too happy to manipulate these emotive topics and exploit the passionate and radical minds of our young people. We have a collective responsibility to safeguard young people from radicalisation and help them to ‘reclaim radical’.”

The films include Joe’s story, which explains how one young man became involved in far-right extremism before a positive role model came into his life and challenged his views.

Another, Radical or Radicalised? examines the difference between holding passionate political views and extremist views.

A third film sees young people reciting parts of a speech first delivered by President John F Kennedy in 1961. The speech – which talks about our way of life being under attack by people who rely on “intimidation rather than free choice” – is still relevant today.

Cllr Sarah Russell, assistant city mayor responsible for children, young people and schools, said: “These films have such an important message and they make it clear that young people want to be engaged, to address world issues and to challenge fear and extremism.

“They’re a fantastic example of the creativity and passion of our young people, as well as a very useful learning tool for local professionals.”

As well as being distributed to professionals, the Reclaim Radical toolkit, including the films, will be available online at from Thursday (21 September).