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We are getting loud / We have woken up /  The future is coming from all of us / We are powerful together /  We are enough / This is our home /  So let us move from here to hope /
For a new Lewisham

Involving over 1,000 young people, including students from 26 local schools, Hope 4 Justice wove together music, choreography and spoken word in two mass protest performances about the climate emergency.

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.

 

An urgent and powerful call to action on the climate emergency Hope 4 Justice highlights issues such as air quality, the ‘throw-away’ culture, housing inequality through compelling, multilayered performances of music, dance and spoken word.

A thousand-strong choir of primary school children will sing a series of newly composed songs by Mercury Prize nominated composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist ESKA, imploring their communities to take action.

100 young dancers, including members of Bellingham Dances and TL ‘s Youth Dance Company, will perform choreography led by Lead Choreographer and Trinity Laban alum, Sarah Golding, and Associate Choreographer Waddah Sinada, exploring their connection to the climate emergency.

Local teenagers will contribute spoken word interludes, mentored by writer and former Young Poet Laureate for London Cecilia Knapp, questioning how we want the world to be in the future.

late night 

you let your dome roam 

trapped in your phone 

alone 

think about the zones of waste

how distasteful 

how are we so wasteful

 

Hope 4 Justice 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.

For the project, we have been working in partnership with Lewisham Music to deliver in-school music training.

“The pollution is getting worse everyday, 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 will sing shows that we care, we care about Lewisham.”

– Zahra, Brindishe Manor student

 

The Creative Team

ESKA

ESKA

Composer

Zimbabwean-born and Lewisham-raised, ESKA is a vocalist, composer, choral director, actor and producer, whose genre-hopping career has included collaborations with a host of internationally acclaimed artists including the likes of Grace Jones, Zero 7, UNKLE, Tony Allen and designer Rick Owens, as well as choral directing for the likes of Matthew Herbert and Bobby McFerrin. Alongside making international festival appearances, ESKA has had her own sold-out performances at Southbank Centre and The Roundhouse. Her self-titled debut album was Mercury Prize nominated and she is currently working on her follow-up album alongside composing her first opera, commissioned by the Royal Opera House.

ESKA is an Alum of both Blackheath Conservatoire and Tomorrow’s Warriors. She continued to work in music whilst studying for a Maths degree, eventually completing her MSc Econ (Statistics) at the London School of Economics followed by a PGCE (Secondary) at the Institute of Education.

 

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 incredible opportunity to stand in solidarity with them. It’s potent, it’s powerful. It’s important.”

Sarah Golding

Sarah Golding

Lead Choreographer

Sarah Golding graduated with a BA (Hons) in Dance Theatre at Trinity Laban in 2012, before joining Transitions Dance Company and completing an MA in Dance Performance in 2013.

She has danced works by Colin Poole and Alesandra Seutin and performed for three years with Lîla Dance in The Deluge. Sarah has performed and movement directed for the Royal Court in The Internet is Serious Business, and Primetime, directed by Hamish Pirie.

In 2017 she joined the West End cast of STOMP at the Ambassadors Theatre.

Full bio
Hannah Gitto

Hannah Gittos

Director

Hannah is a multidisciplinary director, actor, writer and dramaturg, born and raised in Lewisham.

 

As a director her credits include critically acclaimed The Burning Tower in association with Bush theatre, the multi award winning Womanz, Guinea Pigs by Dare Aiyegbayo and Kidocracy by Keith Farnan. She has worked extensively for the Lyric Hammersmith including on their ground-breaking START programmes and has delivered theatre projects for the NYT, Roundhouse and in both Rochester and Feltham Young Offenders Institutes.

 

As a performer, she has worked with the National Theatre Studio, Young Vic Theatre, award-winning physical theatre company Tangled Feet and The Work Theatre Collective. She is a founding member of the 5* sketch group, Comedy Bitch and took her first solo show, The Clown, T & Me to the Edinburgh Festival in 2017.

 

She was the assistant head for BRIT KIDS at the BRIT School of Performing Arts and an associate lecturer at Chichester University. She trained at The Manchester School of Theatre at the world- renowned École Philippe Gaulier.

Waddah Sinada

Waddah Sinada

Associate Choreographer

Originally born in Sudan, Waddah Sinada is a London based dance artist and choreographer, integrating himself in street and hip hop styles along side community led collectives.

Over the course of the last few years Waddah has been working independently teaching, directing and choreographing to further nurture and develop his voice as a young and emerging choreographer, and is co-artistic director of Fubunation.

Discover Fubunation
Cecilia Knapp

Cecilia Knapp

Writer & Narrator

Cecilia Knapp is a poet, playwright and novelist and the Young People’s Laureate for London 2020/2021.

Commissions include The Tate, The BBC and The Guardian and she has written for The Huffington Post, The Independent, and The Stage. She has written commissioned poetry for Vogue and been featured in British Vogue as one of the UK’s young writers to watch.

She is the winner of the 2021 Ruth Rendell award and has been shortlisted for the Rebecca Swift Women’s prize and the Outspoken poetry prize.

“I love that we are collaborating and using a variety of creative branches to interrogate what can seem a huge and impenetrable subject. […] Having the voices of Lewisham’s young people and communities at the centre of this piece is crucial and so exciting.”

Full bio

Additional Creatives

Dance Artists: Damien Anyasi; Blue Makwana; Chloe Stone

Dance Assistants: Kira Brown; Ebony Robinson; Holly Smith; Vivian Triant

Vocal Tutors: Alice Grant, Clare Caddick, Emily Coates

Vocal Assistants: Ellie Bingham, Caterina Carvalho, Georgina Innes-Myers, Nikita Roberts, Nathan Stubbings

“Exploring these songs and their meanings has been a good way for the students at my school to understand what is going on in our borough. I feel privileged to be part of this performance and to know that these songs were written for us. The fact that small children like us can make such a change is wonderful.”

– Floss, Brindishe Manor student

 

Co-creators

Dancers

Trinity Laban Youth Dance Company
Bellingham Dances
Deptford Green School Students
St Matthew Academy Students

Choir

Beecroft Garden Primary School
Brent Knoll Primary School
Brindishe Green Primary School
Brindishe Manor Primary School
Dalmain Primary School
Deptford Park Primary School
Eliot Bank Primary School
Gordonbrock Primary School
Grinling Gibbons Primary School
Horniman Primary School
John Ball Primary School
John Stainer Primary School
Kender Primary School
Perrymount Primary School
Rushey Green Primary School
St James Hatcham Primary School
St Stephens Primary School
St William of York Primary School
St Winifreds Primary School
Stillness Infants Primary School
Tidemill Primary School
Torridon Primary School
Trinity Primary School
All Saints Primary School

Musicians

TL Brass & Wind
South London Samba

Spoken Word

Edie Baggott
Dylan Lewis-Gallego
Charlotte David
Hannah Hirson
Rofeda Bougaga
Shawyan Street
Kallai Smith-Honorin

 

“As a community we can make a change. Let’s take action and look to the future – it’s not too late.”

– Mae, Brindishe Manor student

 

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.

Hope 4 Justice is supported by Arts Council England, Open Hand, Trinity Laban and the Albany for We Are Lewisham, the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture.

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Hope 4 Justice