London Borough of Culture 2022: welcome to Lewisham


We all remember the Lithuanian pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2019, the social criticism to spare time that won the top prize for turning the exhibition space into a beach full of people, but if you missed it, 2022 is the right moment for being in London and see the installation by Neon Realism group again.
Sun & Sea (Marina) will be staged at the Albany arts centre in Deptford, Lewisham on the occasion of the London Borough of Culture, the annual award that gathers Londoners together by putting culture at the heart of local communities, underlining the characters and diversities of London’s boroughs.
Lewisham has a history of activism behind and the programme for 2022 is a call to action for a more equal future, with three main strands that are climate, diversity, and inclusivity.

Sun & Sea (Marina) is an opera-performance that explores the relationship between people and the planet, showing tourists on the beach with their props apparently happy and relaxed but singing sharped songs about climate change. Courtesy of Andrej Vasilenko.

During the year, many events regarding the climate issue are on our schedule: Hope for Justice is going to be a new music performance by the Trinity Laban Conservatoire, co-created by the composer Eska Mtungwazi, the poet Cecilia Knapp, the choreographer Sarah Golding, and hundreds of young people from Lewisham.
The creative space Climate Home will be opened, an area where employment and opportunities for young creatives will be created.
Throughout the year, a Vogue ball will also take place, hosted by BOSS (Black Obsidian Sound System), a Turner Prize Nominee that aims at bringing together a community of queer, trans and non-binary black and people of colour involved in art, music, and activism.

Diversity is the core of the borough and will be celebrated also through the work of D/deaf, disabled, and neurodiverse artists in July: there will be live performances interpreted through British Sign Language, audio-described visual art and also a sensory-interactive installation for audience with learning disabilities.
The programme for the borough of culture year is rich and varied, two artists’ residencies will be embedded in the borough with the aim of supporting interdisciplinary discourse and creative activities by building a community that explores climate, migration, and democracy.
The artist Dryden Goodwin is going to revisit his work Breathe from 2012 for the Lewisham event: he will pay homage to Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, the girl who died at the age of nine for exposure to air pollution. The artwork will depict local environmental artists through sequences of still images animated as people walk or drive by them as if the subjects is labouring to breathe.

Breathe, Dryden Goodwin (2012). Courtesy of the artist.

The overall programme has just been announced and after two years of pandemic, we are feeling very hopeful for London’s future also thanks to the We Are Lewisham year that will come.

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