Tavares Strachan, You Belong Here

Southbank Centre announces You Belong Here summer season 2024

The Southbank Centre in London has announced plans for its summer 2024 season.

Titled “You Belong Here“, the season runs from 29 June to 8 September 2024, and promises an extensive multi-artform programme, taking its name from the nine-metre-high neon artwork illuminating the Hayward Gallery exterior as part of the Tavares Strachan: There Is Light Somewhere exhibition.

The season will include key voices from activism, history, journalism, filmmaking and the performing arts.

Mark Ball, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre, said in a statement: “One of the Southbank Centre’s guiding principles, born out of the legacy of the Festival of Britain in 1951, is that arts and culture should be inclusive and accessible to everyone. In that spirit, You Belong Here is a vibrant mix of voices and communities showcasing a diverse range of cultures, art-forms and lived experiences. In a society that often looks for scapegoats and with the fires of the culture wars stoked to create division, our programming this summer celebrates difference and creates bridges of understanding through welcoming, wonderful experiences for all to enjoy.”

Read below for further details of the You Belong Here season.

Also playing at the Southbank Centre this summer is Carousel in Concert at the Royal Festival Hall on 13 July, starring Jamie Muscato.

You Belong Here – Summer programme

Community Engagement and Co-curated Free Programming

Since the Open Foyer Policy in 1983, when the Royal Festival Hall opened its Foyers to welcome the public all day, the Southbank Centre remains the nation’s most culturally inclusive and creatively expressive space where everyone can experience the arts. This Summer, You Belong Here continues that tradition offering an exciting free programme from well-being participatory workshops to music performances. The fun doesn’t stop there, with electrifying weekends with ESEA Unseen and AZEEMA, bringing together a blend of storytelling and sounds to explore identity and culture.

Celebrate the diverse communities that make London what it is with colourful showcases on the Riverside Terrace. NAZAR returns for Pride, showcasing DJ’s from SWANA and South Asian communities (Saturday 29 June 2024), and grassroots organisation Jazz re:freshed presents the 11th edition of the annual festival JAZZ: RE:FEST (Saturday 20 July, Clore Ballroom). Just Vibez collective brings the Carnival with a Friday Fete (Friday 19 July, Riverside Terrace) and FLAWA presents a weekend of Latin-American performances and sounds from the Global South (Friday 2 August – Sunday 4 August, Riverside Terrace). Nurture well-being, connection and creativity with community gardening event Up on the Roof, hosted by horticultural therapy group Grounded Ecotherapy (Sunday 14 July, Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden). For older adults, Skylark Sessions engages with the local Caribbean community and delves into dance (dates to be confirmed).

Counterpoints Arts brings the fun with a weekend of communal workshops and performances, including the inclusive club night Our HeartBeats featuring young refugees with big DJ dreams (Friday 9 – Sunday 11 August, Riverside Terrace). Lewisham-based youth arts collective SOUNDS LiKE CHAOS Bring The Noise with an evening of music from South East London-based creatives and All Routes Lead In creates a colourful amalgamation of workshops from young people, for everyone (Friday 12 – Saturday 13 July, Riverside Terrace). Explore Somalia’s rich heritage by entering interactive installation The House of Weaving Songs, a dome steel structure reminiscent of a nomadic home (Thursday 8 – Sunday 11 August, Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden, Relaxed Hours available 11am-12pm).

Public Art and Summer Exhibitions

Explore a variety of new thought-provoking public art installations that shine a light on identity and history. Two giant inflatables of icons Marsha P Johnson and Mary Seacole take centre stage on the Riverside Terrace, while Hank Willis Thomas’ colourful, reimagined flags of Africa dance high above on the Royal Festival Hall roof. Artur Conka and Serena Brown’s large-scale photographs offer an honest picture of working-class life today. At the same time, Florence Blanchard and Yinka Ilori’s vibrant patterns provide a transformative experience to the Mandela Walk stairs and Queen’s Walk. Inside, marvel at Olivia Plender’s mobile work depicting the cross-border friendship between Sylvia Pankhurst and Emperor Haile Selassie.

The Hayward Gallery presents Tavares Strachan: There Is Light Somewhere, the first mid-career survey of the New York-based, Bahamian artist. Strachan celebrates unsung explorers and neglected cultural trailblazers, inviting audiences to engage with overlooked characters whose lives illuminate histories hidden by bias (Tuesday 18 June – Sunday 1 September). Designated Relaxed Hours provide additional sensory support (Tuesday 30 July), while a planned schools programme aims to inspire young creative minds in and out of the classroom.

Ticketed Summer Experiences

Crazy Smooth: In My Body brings together an intergenerational group of street and hip-hop dancers to explore what it means to belong as the dancing body ages (Thursday 18 – Saturday 20 July, Queen Elizabeth Hall). Celebrate the beauty, youth, and artistry of African culture in circus show Afrique En Cirque, combining enthralling acrobatics with Afro-jazz rhythms (Wed 24 – Sun 28 July, Queen Elizabeth Hall).

As part of Refugee Week, From the Lips to the Moon combines music, poetry and hypnotic visuals in a live improvised performance (Sunday 30th June, Purcell Room). Family show Home transports audiences into the fairy-tale world of creator Anastasiia Liubchenko, to explore themes of displacement and what makes a home (Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 July). To mark her debut picture book Strong Like Me, Kelechi Okafor is joined by a panel of remarkable women to discuss personal interpretations of strength and Black womanhood in today’s world (Saturday 13 July, Queen Elizabeth Hall). The 100th birthday of iconic 20th-century writer and activist James Baldwin is marked by panel discussions and readings as part of the Conversations with Baldwin Book Club, presented in collaboration with Words of Colour (Sunday 21 July 2024, Purcell Room).

From The Arab Film Club, a special screening and Q&A of short films explore stories of migration and refugee narratives (Sunday 30th June, Purcell Room), and BAFTA-winning historian and film-maker David Olusoga draws upon his acclaimed documentaries to chart the story of Black British history (Thursday 11 July, Royal Festival Hall). Award-winning author and journalist Sathnam Sangera traces the legacies and influence of the British Empire in his ground-breaking new book Empireworld (Sunday 14 July, Queen Elizabeth Hall).

New contemporary-classical music festival Sound Within Sound takes audiences on a journey through unconventional musical experiences and overlooked musicians (Thursday 4 July – Sunday 7 July). Unlimited festival returns (Wednesday 4 September – Sunday 8 September, Queen Elizabeth Hall), celebrating the work of disabled artists through a range of artforms such as Suzie Larke’s photography project Unseen exploring the inner struggle of mental illness (8 June – Sunday 8 September, Queen Elizabeth Hall).

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👤 📅26 April 2024

📷 Main photo: Tavares Strachan, You Belong Here, Prospect 3 New Orleans, 2014 (Installation view from Prospect 3 Biennale, New Orleans, LA). Blocked out neon travelling installation on the Mississippi River. 30 ft x 80 ft on 100-ft barge. Courtesy of the artist, photo & video by Joe Vincent Grey

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