Lewisham has long been a community steeped in cultural activism, with key moments in our history such as the New Cross Fire, Black People’s Day of Action and the Battle of Lewisham playing out to a soundtrack of punk, rock and reggae on the streets of the borough. Artists like Linton Kwesi Johnson and Smiley Culture spoke for a generation of Black Britons struggling against racial oppression, while groups like Rock Against Racism fought back against injustice, organising protests, gigs and celebrations to pull communities together.  Under the slogan ‘Love Music, Hate Racism’, it showcased reggae and punk bands on the same stage, attracting large multicultural audiences.

Rebel Music celebrates the radical musicians of Lewisham’s past, present and future, with a series of events including a talk by legendary dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, performances from local hero and sound activist Charles Hayward and New Cross techno group Test Dept., a vogue ball with Turner Prize nominees Black Obsidian Sound System and the epic Lewisham Sound System Trail – an afternoon of free music in venues around Deptford and New Cross.

Read the article in Rolling Stone UK about the Rebel Music movement, and hear from some of the artists involved in the programme including Linton Kwesi Johnson and Charles Hayward.

We Are Lewisham is presented by Lewisham Council and the Albany as part of the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture 2022.

Supported by:

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