Today we announce the programme for Lewisham’s year as the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture 2022. With a call to action on the climate emergency and a celebration of Lewisham’s diverse communities, the year-long programme will tell the story of Lewisham’s trailblazers past and present with an exciting mix of live performances, innovative dance, music, public art, debate and more.

Working alongside Lewisham Council in our role as Lead Delivery Partner, the year has been co-created by and with the people of Lewisham. Drawing on the history of activism within the borough, We Are Lewisham will bring critical issues to the fore whilst celebrating all of our neighbourhoods, communities and stories.

We’ll be exploring the rich history of music in Lewisham with Revolution Through Music, and celebrate the grassroots musical culture that has sprung from the borough. Pop, grime, afrobeat, jazz, global, classical and punk will all feature and this will kick off in March with Love is Attention. Curated by Deptford resident and Mercury Prize nominee Dave Okumu the festival will pair high profile talent with emerging artists.

In summer, the Albany auditorium will be transformed like you’ve never seen it before, as 10 tons of sand are poured into our main space to create a beach for performances of Sun and Sea. Featuring 13 vocalists, this theatrical installation explores our relationship with the planet and the dangers of ignoring climate change. It stunned audiences at the 2019 Venice Biennale and we’re proud to present its UK premiere in partnership with LIFT and Serpentine.

Other highlights include a new, large-scale dance spectacle in Beckenham, directed by Alleyne Dance in partnership with IRIE! dance theatre. Featuring an intergenerational cast of over 200 performers, Mass Dance will serve as a beacon to profile Black creative leaders and spotlight the positive impact of migration on our communities and home. The urgent issue of air pollution will also be highlighted in a striking new artwork created by Dryden Goodwin that will appear on sites close to the South Circular Road. Breathe: 2022 will relate explicitly to the death of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah and include participants from local activist groups as they ‘fight to breathe’.

Albany associate artists and resident organisations will play a key part across the year. To name just a few projects, youth theatre collective Sounds Like Chaos will design, build and programme a brand new low carbon performance space called Climate Home; Entelechy Arts will present Moving Day – an immersive, site specific theatre performance devised and performed by a collective of Lewisham residents aged 65+; Spare Tyre will create an immersive, sensory installation designed and made for learning disabled audiences, We Will Be Happy Here; New Earth Theatre and the Museum of the Home will bring food and stories from the Vietnamese diaspora together in an audio experience with Sonic Phở ; and Christopher Green will explore care and care homes with The Home: Roadshow.

The year will get into full swing in the new year with Day One on 28 January 2022. This borough-wide celebration will see a series of curated performances, workshops and creative challenges taking place across the day with events on the hour every hour.

Whether you’re a Lewisham resident or not, we hope you’ll join us to dance, debate, sing, watch chat or create over the course of the year.

For the full programme and to find out how you can get involved, visit

Gavin Barlow, Artistic Director of the Albany and Creative Director of Lewisham, the Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture 2022

London Borough of Culture is a Mayor of London initiative.