children playing steel drums

Four day cultural festival taking place in Peckham this August

A four day cultural festival is set to take place in Peckham next month.

Free four-day programme Small Island Vibes will run from Thursday 4 until Sunday 7 August in Peckham Square, with the aim of bringing Peckham’s vibrant mix of generations and cultures together, to reclaim community spaces for everyone and to help create a sense of belonging.  

Co-created and developed by local residents and established social arts organisation, Peckham Platform, the programme of activities celebrates Peckham’s communities of African, Caribbean and Latin-x heritage and offers them the opportunity to reclaim community open spaces and ‘platform’ their voices.

Kevin Jones, Public Realm Producer at Peckham Platform, said: “Like many areas of London, Peckham is seeing the impact of gentrification and how it can divide communities, rather than bring them together.

“Gentrification can make people feel like they no longer belong and that their way of life and history is being eroded.

“Small Island Vibes aims to break down barriers and the feelings of displacement amongst the different cultures and generations, and uses art and culture as a way to bring people together in shared public spaces and let their voices and opinions be heard.”

The activities will take place in Peckham Square around the centrepiece of a mobile library and sound system, designed by local organisation, Yes Make.

Inspired by nature, celebration and Peckham’s communities, the temporary sculpture is constructed of locally sourced timber from fallen trees.

INSPIRED BY PECKHAM: The temporary sculpture which will house the festival. Credit: Yes Make

Small Island Vibes will encourage critical enquiry through reading groups, changemaking workshops and resident consultation, as well family friendly activities including Mas (Caribbean masquerade), craft and mural making, pop up photographic portraits, and sound systems featuring Ghanaian Highlife, Caribbean Calypso, Lovers Rock and Afrobeats, accompanied by food and conversation.

Central to this year’s programme will be the public sharing of ‘Tilting the Mirror’, an intergenerational project funded by Creative Civic Change, that uses arts and creativity to help people make changes in their communities.

Since 2019 Tilting the Mirror has worked closely with community groups, supporting young people and elders in Peckham to come together through creative visits, artist commissions and workshops. 

Nephertiti Oboshie Schandorf, Artistic Director, Peckham Platform said: “’Tilting the Mirror’ aims to promote cross-cultural and cross-generational understanding by encouraging all residents to contribute to a new future for the area.

“Creativity provides a meaningful platform for those who often struggle to be heard in the process of the rapid transformations within our area.

“The focus so far of ‘Tilting the Mirror’ has been in depth engagement, working with a small number of participants closely over several years.

“We are very excited to bring this project to the public during Small Island Vibes and are looking forward to hearing the voices and opinions of many more members of our community.”

Featured image credit: Pantonic Steel Orchestra

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