A series of screenings and public events explore questions around pollution, ecocide, migrant justice and climate finance within the context of the Borough of Lewisham.
In conjunction with the presentation of Sun & Sea at the Albany, this public programme brings together a diverse cohort of environmental activists, artists and thinkers including air quality campaigner Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, sociologist Dr Lez Henry, performance artist SERAFINE1369, visual artist Kiluanji Kia Henda, novelist Ayanna Lloyd Banwo, climate negotiator Eva Peace Mukariyaranga, economist Avinash Persaud and jazz educators Tomorrow’s Warriors alongside Sun & Sea’s artists Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte and Lina Lapelyte to explore themes of environmental justice for the context of Lewisham and London in 2022. The programme includes film screenings taking place at the Albany, Deptford, as well as a public gathering, Equilibrium, at the Serpentine Pavilion 2022 Black Chapel by Theaster Gates on 9th July.
Curated by Radical Ecology in partnership with: LIFT 2022, Serpentine’s Back to Earth project, We Are Lewisham, The Ella Roberta Family Foundation, Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network, University of Exeter’s Global Systems Institute, the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, University of Exeter Arts & Culture, UCL’s Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism & Racialisation, UCL Anthropocene & Open Society Foundations. Radical Ecology is supported by the Nicoletta Fiorucci Foundation.
Saturdays & Sundays, 12-5:30pm
25-26 June; 2-3 July; 9-10 July
The Albany, Lewisham
Free, no booking required
Accompanying the symposium programme, a special screening series of artists’ films engages with questions around pollution, ecocide and climate breakdown.
Maria Thereza Alves, To See the Forest Standing, 2017 (excerpts)
Forensic Architecture, if toxic air is a monument to slavery, how do we take it down?, 2021
Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, The Teaching of the Hands, 2020
Manthia Diawara, An Opera of the World, 2017
Sky Hopinka, Malni – Towards the Ocean, Towards the Shore, 2020
Karrabing Film Collective, Night Time Go, 2017
Tabita Rezaire, Sorry 4 Real, 2017
Sumayya Vally, Ingesting Architectures, 2020
Sarah Stirk and Gina Allen in collaboration with the Ella Roberta Foundation
AIRBORNE & DRAWING AIR
25th June – 10th July, the Albany, Lewisham, Free
Working in collaboration with The Ella Roberta Foundation, Airborne is a visceral audio-visual art work that combines microscopic images of pollution in children’s spit, infrared photographs of children revealing veins, and data maps showing illegal levels of pollution in London. A soundscape, sculptures, and interviews with parents and children affected by asthma are on display to make the invisible threat of air pollution tangible. With thanks to Bertha Foundation and Arts Council England.
Drawing Air focuses on the life of Ella Roberta Adoo-Kissi-Debrah. Ella was a bright, sporty and musical child, living in South East London. She sadly developed life-threatening asthma at age six, and died at the age of nine. Following a landmark legal case, Ella has since become the first person in the world to have air pollution recognised as a cause of death. Artist Gina Allen worked with Ella’s family to produce a series of images of Ella, using dirt collected from the wheels and exhausts of cars.
Nearly 10,000 people in London (around 36,000 UK wide) die early every year from long-term exposure to air pollution. Two million Londoners, including more than 400,000 children, live in areas which exceed legal limits for air pollution. Children are the most vulnerable to this pollution as permanent, lifelong damage can be caused to their developing bodies.
While acknowledging the sources and types of air pollution are many and various, both urban and rural, the material used highlights road traffic as one source of air pollution, inviting us to consider the human behaviours that influence the quality of the air that we breathe.
Curated by Radical Ecology (Ashish Ghadiali and Lucia Pietroiusti) and produced by Holly Shuttleworth. Emilian Isibo: Assistant Curator. Curatorial and production advice from Amaya Jeyarajah Dent, Kris Nelson and Matthew Schmolle. AIRBORNE & DRAWING AIR is curated by Sarah Stirk and produced by Matthew Schmolle.
TALKS AND WORKSHOPS
Artist Talk: Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelyte in conversation with Vicki Amedume
Tuesday 28 June, 6:30pm
Free, booking required, via the Albany’s website.
Join the artists who developed the award-winning opera-performance Sun & Sea for an afternoon talk. In conversation with Vicki Amedume, the artists will discuss the making of the piece and its connection to the local context of Lewisham.
Workshop: Making a London Plane, a family workshop on pollution and trees, led by Metabolic Matters (Royal College of Art’s School of Architecture, ADS3 Studio), with Becky Lyons.
2nd July, 10am-12pm
Age guidance: Families
Free, booking required via the Albany’s website.
A hands-on workshop putting citizen science to work. Learn about the London Plane tree’s ability to absorb pollution and find out why it matters to Lewisham. This family friendly workshop will get you out in the neighbourhood and back to The Albany, so dress for the weather. Brought to you by students from the Royal College of Art’s School of Architecture ADS3 Studio, who have been developing the project together with studio leaders Cooking Sections as part of Serpentine’s Back to Earth, and with the collaboration of artist Becky Lyons. Attending the workshop gives access to a special offer for a £5 community ticket to watch Sun & Sea.
Listening Workshop by Dr. Anat Ben-David
Sunday 10 July, 2-4pm
Free, booking required via the Albany’s website.
Age guidance: 16+
A hands-on session on listening as a way of experiencing places, self, and others.
We will go through practical exercises to experience listening as well as togetherness.
We will explore the surroundings of a chosen location while activating different senses. This includes a 20 minutes walk in the surrounding area. During the second part of the workshop, we will be using a chosen text (or texts) and will try to embody it by using different methods to employ the voice and the body.
Equilibrium: A public gathering on environmental justice
Saturday 9 July
Serpentine Pavilion 2022 BLACK CHAPEL by Theaster Gates
1-7pm Daytime gathering: free, booking required via Eventbrite.
This public gathering brings together interdisciplinary artists, campaigners and thinkers to address questions of environmental justice and the role of culture in creating it.
Contributions from The Ella Roberta Family Foundation will highlight issues of urban air pollution and risks to public health whilst contributions from the Stop Ecocide Foundation will frame this problem within the context of the international conversation around ecocide.
Conversations led by the University of Exeter’s Global Systems Institute and the International Centre for Climate Change and Development will speak to the role of new frameworks for climate finance in imagining new futures, whilst those led by Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network will draw out connections between climate displacement on a global scale and racial inequity within the context of contemporary Britain.
The programme also features a tapestry of creative interventions across forms including music, movement and performance-lecture. These point to the crucial role of the artist, in an era of ecological crisis and imbalance, of embodying alternative ways of knowing and intuiting new pathways towards equilibrium.
Listening session: Torkwase Dyson, Breathtaking: On Black Beauty and Other Necessary Indeterminacies (Spatial Test With Drawing, _001), 2021
Introductions: Bettina Korek, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Ashish Ghadiali, Lucia Pietroiusti
Conversation: Air quality in Lewisham, with Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, Sarah Stirk and William Lez Henry
Listening Session: A new sound piece and performance by Love Ssega for Black Chapel
On the Sun & Sea partnership and University of Exeter’s Arts & Culture: Kris Nelson and Sarah Campbell
Introduction to Serpentine’s long-term project of environmental campaigns, Back to Earth: Rebecca Lewin
Back to Earth panel: Rugile Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelyte, Love Ssega and Hilary Cottam in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist
Notes on ecocide: Jojo Mehta and Philippe Sands
The Imagination of New Futures: Saleemul Huq, Eva Peace Mukayiranga, Avinash Persaud in conversation with Lucia Pietroiusti
Screening: Janine Benuys in conversation with Kate Raworth, introduced by Hans Ulrich Obrist
Reading and conversation: Ayana Lloyd Banwo, When We Were Birds
Building Places of Sanctuary: London Refugee and Migrants Network panel, with Hera Lorandos, moderated by Ashish Ghadiali
Performance-lecture: Kiluanji Kia Henda, Something Happened on the Way to Heaven
8-10pm Tomorrow’s Warriors concert: £5/£4 conc. Booking required via Eventbrite
Isobella Burnham and Romarna Campbell, invited by Jazz educators Tomorrow’s Warriors, special musical performances inside the Serpentine Pavilion 2022, Black Chapel by Theaster Gates
Participants include artists Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainyte and Lina Lapelyte, social entrepreneur Hilary Cottam, visual artist Kiluanji Kia Henda, activist Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, sociologist William Lez Henry, climate scientist Saleemul Huq, novelist Ayanna Lloyd Banwo, case worker Hera Lorandos, musical performer Love Ssega, Stop Ecocide co-founder Jojo Mehta, environmentalist Eva Peace Mukayiranga, economist Avinash Persaud, legal practitioner Philippe Sands, artist and dancer SERAFINE1369, photographer Sarah Stirk, and evening performances by Isobella Burnham and Romarna Campbell, in partnership with jazz educators Tomorrow’s Warriors.
Curated by Radical Ecology and produced by Holly Shuttleworth. Emilian Isibo: Assistant Curator. Curatorial and production advice from Amaya Jeyarajah Dent, Kris Nelson and Matthew Schmolle. In partnership with: LIFT 2022, Serpentine’s Back to Earth project, We Are Lewisham, The Ella Roberta Family Foundation, Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network, University of Exeter’s Global Systems Institute, University of Exeter Arts & Culture, UCL’s Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism & Racialisation, UCL Anthropocene, L-Acoustics & Open Society Foundations.
Radical Ecology is supported by the Nicoletta Fiorucci Foundation.