A photography exhibition launched last night, based around youth gangs in Hackney, Brixton, Peckham and Croydon.
One ex-gang member, Jean-Claude Vipoh, who was the subject of several shots, said he was rehabilitated by the process.
Mr Vipoh said: “The pictures changed my life, it was having the attention on me that helped, it was telling my story.”
Mr Vipoh now works at a charity called CODE 7, which helps vulnerable young people to express themselves through music.
Jocelyn Hogg, Robin Maddock and Adam Patterson chose to shoot gangs because they wanted to show the gangs’ perspective on youth crime.
The three photographers followed gang members and police crime squads. The snaps show youths going to parties, showing off their scars and even going to church.
Mr Hogg said: “The gangs are people without a voice, no-one asks how they feel.”
Mr Patterson followed Vipoh’s gang, he said: “Identity is a problem for south London kids, not just the gangs. If you set them all beside each other – the normal kids and the gangs, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.”
HOST Gallery in Old Street ran the event.
Maddock’s book is called Our Kids are going to Hell.