Hope 4 Justice EP calls for urgent action on the climate emergencyThu 15 February 2024
“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.
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.