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Sunday, October 10, 2010

'Famous for the Wrong Reasons': Sal Idriss, knife, gun + violent crime and his photos of bereaved families still mourning + suffering

I was invited to a private viewing of Sal Idriss' photo exhibition this week - the 'Famous For The Wrong Reasons' exhibition, an anti-gun and knife crime project he started a couple of years ago or so.

Here he was killed...

It has involved creating photographic portraits and an exhibition of 27 London families who have lost their loved ones to gun or knife crime. It is hoped that if the project is a success in London it will go on to tour the UK and potentially abroad.

Work stuff made it difficult to attend that first night so I visited later.It's on the Mezzanine / first floor of Rich Mix.
'Famous For The Wrong Reasons' is a tribute to Sal's brother Nass (Nassirudeen), who died in 2007 as the result of an unprovoked knife attack in Islington, a few days before his 17th birthday.

Sal said: "Direct experience of this, the most pernicious of crimes, drew my attention to the many families throughout London who are dealing with the devastating loss of a loved one through knife or gun attacks.

"Since 2007 I have worked in more than 20 boroughs, with more than 20 families. Their personal stories are the impetus for the project. Individual portraits, many taken on location, show families not as names, numbers or headlines that disappear, but as people who are coping with loss, pain and immense sadness, every day. These families, like my own, have become Famous for the Wrong Reasons.

Exhibition area: Tower Hamlets

"My photographic exhibition, developed with young people across London’s boroughs, shows their raw emotions and portrays them with honesty and compassion.

"The project aims to educate and deter those vulnerable to or already involved with gun or knife crime by using the emotional power of photography to illustrate the dangers and risks of carrying guns and knives and to demonstrate what can happen to families on a personal level."

By putting real faces to the 'anonymous' names in the newspapers, Sal hopes to expose the true impacts of such crimes.

Another loved one slain...

The second aim is to provide a way for people across the community to talk about the causes of teenagers carrying guns or knives in their neighbourhoods, and to better understand the root causes often related to gangs, bullying and/or drugs.

Lastly, the project aims to shift young people's attitudes and deglamourise gun and knife crime.

Nearby: Bethnal Green tube station

'Famous For The Wrong Reasons' is at Rich Mix from 7 October 2010 to 7 November 2010. The Private View was from 6 – 8pm on Thursday, 7 October. Sal Idriss website is at
Have you visited this anti-gun and knife crime exhibition? Was your family photographed? Were you involved in any of these knife crimes? Do let me know any of your thoughts, if you'd like to share them.


  1. those are some powerful photos and it saddens me that knife crime is all around. Why do kids feel the need to carry such thinks!

  2. "Why do kids feel the need to carry such thinks!"

    For the average defensive carrier, it's because of incidents relating to the photos above.

    As for murders, they carry weapons because, well.. they're murderers..

  3. I hope the criminals stop by and see the offspring of their deeds.


    We provide stab vests and cut resistant clothing. Please do pay us a visit. We appreciate the good work this blog does.


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