BBC pulls documentary featuring Grenfell Tower victim

‘We have made the decision to postpone the programme’ a corporation spokesperson told The Independent 

Narjas Zatat
Saturday 17 June 2017 14:57
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 Khadija Saye was filmed as part of a documentary about the Venice Biennale
Khadija Saye was filmed as part of a documentary about the Venice Biennale

A documentary featuring an artist who died in the Grenfell Tower fire will not be aired by the BBC.

Khadija Saye’s exquisite photography, a series of images exploring the spirituality of Gambian people, is currently exhibited in Venice as part of the Diaspora Pavilion, an exhibition taking place during the Venice Biennale.

The 24-year-old artist had been filmed as part of the documentary Venice Biennale: Sink or Swim, due to air on Saturday evening on BBC2.

A spokesperson for the Corporation told The Independent: “Our deepest sympathies are with Khadija’s family and friends and all of those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

“We have made the decision to postpone the programme and further information about the transmission will be made available in due course.”

The London-born artist had been invited to showcase her photography at a number of galleries just days before the fire that took her life. Nicola Green, a former mentor, told The Guardian that Ms Saye’s “dreams were actually beginning to manifest”.

She added: “Khadija’s story is inspirational, it needs to be told.”

Ms Saye and her mother, Mary Mendy, were in her flat on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower when the fire started. Ms Mendy remains missing.

Ms Green said that Ms Saye used her Facebook account at approximately 3am that morning.

She was “saying she was unable to get out of the flat, that the smoke was so thick”, Miss Green said. “She was saying she just can’t get out and: ‘Please pray for me. There’s a fire in my council block. I can’t leave the flat. Please pray for me and my mum.’"

Family friend and Tottenham MP David Lammy also paid tribute to Ms Saye on Twitter.

“May you rest in peace Khadija Saye,” he said. “God bless your beautiful soul. My heart breaks today. I mourn the tragic loss of a wonderful young woman.”

At least 30 people have been confirmed dead in the fire, 12 remain in a critical condition and it is likely the death toll will increase, London’s Metropolitan Police said.

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