- Miles Hedley
CLIMATE HOME FESTIVAL presented by The Albany
Updated: Jul 29, 2022
While politicians, big business and The Market prevaricate endlessly about how to ease global warming but still make money, young people are screaming at them with increasing fury and frustration as they try to make them understand how urgent the problem is.
Heroic individuals such as Greta Thunberg and uncompromising activist organisations like Extinction Rebellion tend to capture the headlines but millions of other youngsters are campaigning just as vigorously and vociferously at a local level for action, change and justice.
In south-east London, the latest manifestation of this youth-driven green crusade is Climate Home: Festival Of Action And Resistance presented by the Albany and arts collective Sounds Like Chaos as part of Lewisham’s year as London’s borough of culture.
The festival, which runs at Youth First’s Richard MacVicar Adventure Playground in New King Street, Deptford, until 20 August, features an eclectic and life-affirming programme of dance, music, theatre, fashion, poetry, art, play, workshops and discussions curated by youngsters to raise awareness of the climate emergency and to explore creativity.
The outdoor performance area - with a stage, wheelchair access and straw-bale seating (above) - has been built by those same kids. And although its target audience is anyone aged between eight and 25, organisers are keen to emphasise the festival is open to everyone.
Locally-based professional artists will be on hand at many of the events, which are all free or pay-what-you-want. Here are some of the highlights…
Check out new verse forms and styles with acclaimed writer Gboyega Odubanjo in the Reach For Speech Poetry Collective which is on till 4 August.
Till 10 August, Fashion Futures Design & Making Sessions offer kids aged 10 to 16 the chance to create catwalk outfits. And till the 18th, Lewisham street dance trio The Unknown (below) will be showing 10 to 16-year-olds how it’s done in Dance With The Unknown.
The playground itself is the setting for guided creative activities for eight to 14-year-olds in Adventure Play till 18 August. And every Friday throughout the festival performer, writer and activist Phoebe Fairchild will be hosting It’s Getting Hot In Here, a series of free-flow podcast sessions that all begin with the question: “What do you want the world to know about climate change?“
My Mind My Space, on 29 and 30 July, encourages over-13s to explore questions of mental health and creativity through theatre and discussion. And on 3 August, Kickstart Your Career In Photography is a workshop for 16 to 30-year-olds fronted by ace portrait and fashion snapper Kid Circus and photographic artist and educator Etienne Bruce.
Nick Sigworth, one of the leading lights of the legendary Black Obsidian Sound System, will be joined by five people aged 12-25 between 3 and 18 August to build a sound system that will be available to the wider community.
Everything All At Once on 5 August is a Heart n Soul house party with the Do Your Own Thing DJs and features pop-up music and dance acts. And the following day a work-in-progress performance called Words explores youth issues.
The Staying Out DIY Fashion Show on 13 August celebrates the unique styles that make Lewisham such a gloriously diverse part of the capital.
And the festival ends with an all-day community party on 19 August which celebrates the magic of Caribbean culture and the wonder of carnival arts.
Full details of the programme are at https://www.thealbany.org.uk/shows/climate-home-festival/