1,000 Young People Demand Action on the Climate Emergency in Music and Dance Performance

The performance is on 18th June at 3pm & 4.30pm.

By: May. 13, 2022

Hope 4 Justice is a multi-layered performance piece and call to action involving over 1,000 young people, including students from 26 schools, created and produced by Trinity Laban as part of We Are Lewisham, the Mayor's London Borough of Culture 2022. Protesting about the climate emergency, the free outdoor event will weave together new songs and music, choreography and spoken word with a significant processional element as it fills Mountsfield Park on 18th June.

At heart of the piece is a series of newly composed songs by Mercury Prize nominated composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist ESKA, performed by a thousand-strong choir of primary school children and joined by musicians from Trinity Laban as well as South London Samba. These are interspersed with spoken word interludes created by local teenagers, who have been working alongside writer and Young Poet Laureate for London 2020/21 Cecilia Knapp. All the thematic content is the result of collaborative workshops led by Trinity Laban with local young people exploring their connection to climate emergency, and is a call to their communities to take action. The resulting piece is directed by multidisciplinary director Hannah Gittos.

Hope 4 Justice highlights issues such as air quality, the 'throw-away' culture, housing quality and inequality, and questions how we want the world to be in the future. One song features the chanting of the name of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, the nine year old Lewisham schoolgirl who was the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as a cause of death.

Around 100 young people will perform the choreography, created and performed by 11-18 year olds from different groups, including secondary schools, Trinity Laban Youth Dance Company and Bellingham Dances. They are led by Lead Choreographer and Trinity Laban alum, Sarah Golding, and Associate Choreographer Waddah Sinada.

Artistically ambitious, Hope 4 Justice demonstrates Trinity Laban's values and reputation for creativity, innovation, inclusivity and cultural activism. This socially engaged project will demonstrate the active contribution of the artist in society. It is the culmination of over a year-long engagement by Trinity Laban's Children and Young People and Public Engagement programmes, which are committed to engaging with the local community by delivering high-quality artistic experiences and providing study and career pathways for children and young people across Lewisham, particularly those from diverse backgrounds, including low socio-economic groups, ethnic minorities, and other underrepresented groups.

Trinity Laban Principal, Anthony Bowne said, "Hope 4 Justice is part of Trinity Laban's longstanding commitment to working with people across Lewisham. Trinity Laban has been based in Lewisham for over fifty years, building a public engagement programme unmatched in our sector - opening up and broadening access to our world-leading training, and sharing our belief in the power of creativity to drive positive change. It's inspiring and humbling to see over a thousand young people drawn from schools across the borough using the power of creativity and collaboration to amplify their concerns and demand action on the climate emergency."

Former Young People's Laureate for London Cecilia Knapp said "Art can raise visibility of some of the most pressing issues facing us as a planet, and this project, which is large and ambitious in its scope, aims to bring even more awareness to issues of climate change in Lewisham. I love that we are collaborating and using a variety of creative branches to interrogate what can seem a huge and impenetrable subject. Through text, music, movement and more, we will find a place to hold our uncertainty, fears, and hopes for the futures, as well as find a way to protest. Having the voices of Lewisham's young people and communities at the centre of this piece is crucial and so exciting; it is their future we are talking about with this piece"

ESKA added, "Through this project I've got a profound sense of what this subject matter is doing to young people, what they're grappling with. This is their life on the line. It's an incredibly opportunity to stand in solidarity with them. It's potent, it's powerful. It's important."

Hope 4 Justice has been created and produced by Trinity Laban for We Are Lewisham, and is a co-commission with the Albany. It is part of a wider programme of climate emergency artworks commissioned for We Are Lewisham.

Trinity Laban is an internationally celebrated centre of excellence, offering world-class training in dance, music and musical theatre. Trinity Laban identifies, supports and develops a diverse intake of talented performers and creators, wherever they may be found and throughout their creative lives, transforming those with potential into resourceful, enterprising and adaptable artistic leaders.The conservatoire's public engagement programmes attract participants of all ages, whatever their background or ability, providing exciting opportunities to encounter dance and music, and to access arts health programmes. In 2019/20 over 25,000 children and young and older people engaged with Trinity Laban's programmes. Activities include special programmes for participants with disabilities, older people, children and families as well as professional development and training opportunities for music and dance practitioners.

Hope 4 Justice by ESKA, Cecilia Knapp, Sarah Golding and Lewisham young people, is created and produced by Trinity Laban. Co-commissioned by Trinity Laban and the Albany for We Are Lewisham. We Are Lewisham is presented by Lewisham Council and the Albany as part of the Mayor's London Borough of Culture 2022.

Hope 4 Justice is supported by Arts Council England, Open Hand, Trinity Laban, Lewisham Music and the Albany for We Are Lewisham.

Mountsfield Park, Catford SE6

18th June 3pm & 4.30pm

FREE to attend, advance booking advised



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