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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Lots of young people took part in music & dance performance to demand action on climate emergency

The two performances of Hope 4 Justice took on Saturday 18th June in Mountsfield Park, Catford, with an audience of 1,000

The creative team included Mercury Prize-nominated ESKA, former London’s Young Poet Laureate Cecilia Knapp and choreographer and Trinity Laban alum Sarah Golding

The participants from Lewisham and Trinity Laban paid tribute to local girl Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah the first person in the UK to have Air Pollution as the cause of death on her death certificate

Hope 4 Justice was produced by Trinity Laban as part of We Are Lewisham, the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture 2022

On Saturday 18th June, hundreds of young people took part in Hope 4 Justice, a multi-layered performance piece and call to action 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 brought together new songs and music, choreography and spoken word with a significant processional element. An audience of 1,000 attended the performances.

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

Hope 4 Justice highlighted 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 featured 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 performed 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 were 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 demonstrates 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.

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