Inner Cities (2001)7:16
“An inner city (area) is the central part of a city where people live and where there are often problems because of lack of jobs, bad houses and poverty”. (Cambridge International Dictionary of English, 2000)
In summer 2001, the British government introduced a policy that allowed the police to impose a curfew for children under sixteen in areas at high concentration of criminal activity. On one hand, the measure was supposed to protect children from the danger and the blandishments of older teenagers and adults already involved in violence and illicit activity. On the other hand, many felt it met the concerns of those citizens who felt their neighbourhoods needed protection from the children’s own violence and felony.
I could not decide which of the two side of the story was the gloomiest. Apparently, somebody always gets forgotten. Something is always overlooked. Governments take targeted actions, but each time something is left out of the bigger equation. Cosmetic measures leave the structure unstable, and the contradictions keep on showing: sometimes it is the cry for help coming from continents far away. Sometimes it is the misery of barren streets, a few bus-stops further down from the glittering shopping mall.
Inner Cities resonates with the echo of sounds bouncing on the asphalt of the street and the concrete of the buildings where the curfew-children grow up; places among the ugliest on earth, where innocence fights a battle that seems lost from the start. The music stems from and grows into simple anecdotes and distant atmospheres from daily urban life. The discourse follows recollections of my own childhood, sounds and voices heard from the courtyards of the housing estate where I grew up, the struggle of the people who were able to imagine a better future, and the blank look of those who dreamt no more.
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