The S.M.I.L.E-ing Boys

Smiling boysA research led initiative with a mission to empower young black boys through poetry, photography and immersive art projects, spearheaded interdisciplinary artist Kay Rufai. The S.M.I.L.E-ing Boys Project was born as a public health response to the rise in youth stabbings in London that sparked a series of government measures leading to tougher criminalisation of youth, more stop and searches, and greater police presence in minority communities. Through workshops, exhibitions, mentorship and field study, the initiative aims to empower BAME boys to develop emotional intelligence and best manage their mental health in positive ways through creative mediums and discussions.

Funded by Hondo Enterprises in Brixton Village, the S.M.I.L.E-ing Boys project unveiled an installation showcasing a series of photo portraits displayed on flags throughout the market. The public project aims to offer a platform for participants to celebrate their work and achievements, help boost their self-esteem and share important learnings from the project.