Youngsters in Waltham Forest encouraged to use art to tackle extremism online

ASPIRING artists are putting their skills to good use by launching a project to tackle the threat of extremism online.

Arts Against Extremism is a youth-led project aimed at supporting people aged 16 to 21 to become activists, flooding social media with positive messages about their communities.

Created in partnership by the Arts Council, Waltham Forest Council and the Home Office, the project was launched on Saturday October 14 at Centre17 in Church Hill, Walthamstow.

Cllr Sharon Waldron, cabinet member for community safety and cohesion, said the aim is to give every young person in the borough the encouragement to become a “voice for social change”.

Anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) campaigner Hibo Wardere of Walthamstow praised the “pioneering project”.

She said: “It recognises the wider harms of extremism, including FGM, and aims to engage youths in becoming a positive voice that stands up against it. “I will be following the project’s every move online and supporting it wherever I can.”

The launch of the project follows the Home Office’s findings from March 2017 identifying 126,000 tweets containing extremist messages and the rise of ‘fake news’ and ‘trolling’ on social media.

http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/15603977.Project_encourages_youngsters_to_use_art_to_tackle_extremism_online/

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