Lewisham’s year as London Borough of Culture kicks off with music, dance and art

Outside Lewisham Shopping Centre Pic: Erin Lister

By Chris Wilson and Erin Lister

Celebrations for Lewisham’s Borough of Culture programme began today, with music, dance and other events taking place across the borough.

Artists performed at several rail stations—choirs staged a show outside Lewisham and Catford stations, while Blackheath Halls Orchestra performed at Blackheath station.

Mayor Damien Egan, who had called the programme “a platform to the very best of what Lewisham has to offer”, tweeted at 9am from Brockley station, where “live music from Fat Brass set an amazing buzz for the rest of today, with 50 events helping to launch #Lewisham2022”.

Deputy Mayor Brenda Dacres, pictured above with Egan, posted photos of a dance group from Trinity Laban performing outside Deptford station.

At 10am, one of the day’s main events of the programme titled WeAreLewisham began, with the live artwork ‘Identity Tapestry’ starting in Lewisham Shopping Centre. The work, by artist Mary Corey March, invites participants to add to the tapestry by adding yarn to respond to a series of statements, such as ‘I care about the environment’, to create an artistic survey of locals’ thoughts.

Late in the morning and into the afternoon, pop-up art workshops took place, such as one in the Migration Museum, where artist-in-residence Nadina Ali encouraged people to ‘Share your love for Lewisham in poster form’.

Josiah Odigie, a volunteer for Lewisham Local, was working at one such event—Salina Jane’s ‘Drawing from History’ on Lewisham High Street. Jane is an artist who “tells stories of life in London”. Odigie told Eastlondonlines: “Today’s been really special. This is a festival for everyone that’s going to be going on for the whole year, there’s tonnes of opportunities for people.

“Seeing people come in who claim they might not be that artistic, but who still express themselves, has been really lovely.”

Celebrations are continuing throughout the rest of the day, with the main event being the screening of the new short film We Are Lewisham onto numerous buildings, including Lewisham Shopping Centre, the Broadway Theatre and Goldsmiths, between 6pm and 9pm.

You can find today’s remaining schedule, as well as more information about events, here

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