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Hope 4 Justice EP calls for urgent action on the climate emergency

“The pollution is getting worse every day, every minute, every second. Aren’t you ashamed that the first person to die of pollution was a little girl from Lewisham, who was just like me? The songs that we sing show we care; we care about Lewisham.” – Zahra, Brindishe Manor student

Today, on the eleventh anniversary of the death of Lewisham resident Ella Roberta Adoo Kissi Debrah who died aged nine after a fatal asthma attack, Air from the forthcoming Hope 4 Justice EP is released on all major streaming platforms. Ella was the first person in the world to have air pollution listed as a cause of death on their death certificate. Air is a powerful dedication to Ella, with lyrics written by Mercury Prize nominee ESKA and Young People’s Poet Laureate for London Cecilia Knapp, the children’s voices boldly asserting “I’ve got the right to breathe in my own city’s streets.”

In 2022 over 1,000 young people, including students from 27 South London schools took part in Hope 4 Justice, an urgent call to action on the climate emergency highlighting issues such as air quality, ‘throw-away’ culture and housing inequality through compelling performances of music, dance and spoken word. Created and produced by Trinity Laban in collaboration with leading artists and local young people, the socially engaged project was a key part of the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture 2022 celebrations and was performed in Mountsfield Park on Saturday 18 June 2022.

Now, to commemorate the project, five songs composed by Mercury Prize nominated artist ESKA have been recorded at Trinity Laban with John Stainer Community Primary School Choir and students from the TL Jazz Department and will be shared as an EP on 8 March.

The Hope 4 Justice EP also features tracks Building (Foundations), Future Culture, New Legacy and Waste.

Listen to Air here.

Pre-order the Hope 4 Justice EP (including a limited edition CD version here).

Hope 4 Justice was created and produced by Trinity Laban for We Are Lewisham and was co-commissioned with The Albany. It was part of a wider programme of climate emergency artworks commissioned for We Are Lewisham, the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture for 2022. Special thanks to ESKA, choreographer Sarah Golding, writer Cecilia Knapp and all the wonderful students, musicians and dancers involved.

Mass Dance comes to Lewisham. Group of dancers in seven rows across a large open stage dancing with one leg raised to the knee and their hands above their head. They are wearing brightly coloured trousers and tops.

Mass Dance Comes To Lewisham

Did you catch Close To Home: The Mass Dance Event a few weeks ago?

On 22 and 23 October, hundreds of dancers, of all ages, came together for an inspiring performance. Close to Home: The Mass Dance Event weaved together real-life stories of migration, community, activism and history through movement and music.

It was a privilege to have 70 undergraduate dance students participate in the core group of performers.  A small group of performers from our local older adults groups, Boundless and Voices in Motion participated too.

Mass Dance built upon the success Hope 4 Justice in the summer, the culmination of over a year-long engagement by TL’s Children and Young People and Public Engagement programmes which involved over 700 young people from 26 local schools in a music, dance and spoken word performance calling for action on the climate emergency.

Mass Dance was directed by Alleyne Dance, presented by We Are Lewisham in partnership with Albany Deptford and IRIE! dance theatre in association with Dance Umbrella and Trinity Laban, as part of the London Borough of Culture 2022 programme. We are proud have been part of We Are Lewisham and look forward to developing further collaborations with leading artists and local young people in Lewisham.

Check out Alleyne Dance’s fantastic Instagram Stories, showcasing the build-up to the event and exciting performances over that weekend.