The table of stabbings,shootings and other types of fatal wounding for teenage murder in London between 2005 and 2015 according to The Citizens Report, make for grim reading. A total of 173 young lives ended prematurely on the streets of the capital. The report goes on to say that ‘A knife or a gun were used proportionally more in London teenage murder cases, then when compared to the statistics run out across the country’.
An even more grim figure is that there could be as many as 60,000 none fatal stabbings each year, according an independent worst case estimates across England and Wales and even the optimistic government report puts the number at 22,000.

HMHW Magazine has in the past prided itself in featuring many diverse and talented people for our Artist of the Month slot, yet none can be more dedicated and sincere then the photographer and journalist Andrea Scaringella who’s multimedia projects The Presence of your Absence and Between Today and Tomorrow deal with the forgotten victims of murder, the loved ones left behind.

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Born in Milan Scaringella who works under the professional name of Scari, moved to London back in 2001 working as a freelance photographer. His work always documentary based, has taken him around the world including projects in Kurdistan {north-eastern Turkey) where he reported on the impoverished living conditions of the Kurds and the effects of child labour seen through the eyes of a eight year old shoe shine boy. In 2006 he travelled to Nigeria on assignment at the Niger Delta , whilst there he covered the Nigerian Election, exploring the complex situation in a oil rich country made poor by high level corruption and a government dealing constantly with emerging rebel groups .When in London he works in collaboration with a company called Rolling Stone developing tailor-made photographic workshops for young people who fall into the category of (NEETs) Not in employment, Education or Training and Young Offenders.

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Andrea explains his project The Presence of your Absence

Sometimes I see them from the top floor of the double-decker bus where I am sitting, or when I cycle through the city, sometimes walking in my neighbourhood.
The bunches of flowers laid on the floor or tied to a tree, the written messages, the photos – mementos, symbols of a presence that no longer is. There they remain like traces. Traces left on a main road or on the pavement near the corner shop or in a dead end in a council estate.
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I’ve always been intrigued and saddened by the sight, curious to know what had happened, what the story behind the mementos was. Some I discovered were linked to road accidents, and some were scenes of tragic crimes. The traces I ended up following were the ones whose stories told of teenagers and young adults involved in knife or gang related crimes.
I started taking pictures of sites that has been there for a long time then I noticed other sites marked with flowers and other mementos just for a brief period of time.
As I became aware of new teenage gang or knife crimes ending in tragedy I would go visit the site and record the scene.

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“The Presence of your Absence” is an ongoing photographic project recently started and gradually taking shape. What I am presenting is the first stage of a more articulate and substantial multi media project which will include video and audio recordings on teenagers involved in knife and gang related crimes and all parts affected by this social problem here in London. I want to raise awareness on teenage gangs and knife culture, who the young people involved are and how they end up being involved as well as to keep the memory of the absence of those who died alive.

In the midst of projects that revolve around sadness and death, Andrea as become a proud and doting father of a baby boy, I can’t but feel at our meeting that this baby will never feel unloved with a father like this gentle and caring man and our thoughts go out to all the parents who are trying to come to terms with the epidemic of senseless violence which has become endemic in our culture.
For further details of Andrea project visit his website at Andrea Scaringlla Photography and for news of his forthcoming exhibition follow us here at

Words David Coomber
Pictures Andrea Scaringella


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