What Really Matters to Peckham?

Tate Collective recently decided to venture to Peckham, South East London, to collaborate with Pempeople, who ‘promote inclusion for residents living within the 10% most deprived wards’ in London. By collaborating with Nicholas Okwulu, we put on a festival aimed at 15-25 year olds with the least access to the arts, aiming to give them more of an awareness of their own creative abilities within the community.

After a discussion with Nicholas, and gaining an idea of our objectives, we named our event ‘What Really Matters?’ and decided to have our workshops and performances respond to that concept and requested the artists involved to make or play music about what really matters to them, in keeping with Pempeople’s communal way of working. The programme consisted of Reprezent DJs, Peckham based youth-led radio station, playing sets throughout the day and live music from All About The Band, a music project for 13 to 18 year old musicians based in Southwark. A few of us from Tate Collective ran screenprinting and badge-making workshops throughout the day.

Overall, the day seemed an accomplishment and the colourful hand-made window display definitely helped set the foundations of a warm and friendly atmosphere. The thriving workshops complimented the DJs’ choice of music, and by the evening, sitting down to listen to the eclectic music by All About The Band was well worth the wait.

Thinking about working again with Pempeople in August, we are keen to work in partnership with local groups – working in partnership with All About The Band allowed us to reach out to their networks, friends and families. We should also think about a stronger marketing strategy when recreating the festival on a large scale. Perhaps this could be in the way of more flyers and posters distributed around the local area, or even spreading the festival over a weekend, giving word of mouth more of a chance.

When asking those at the event what needs refining, generally the response was “bigger with more stuff”. Therefore, we have since kept in touch with Nicholas and plan to repeat this idea in the summer, but on a larger scale, hopefully doing just that! Lastly, thank you Peckham for your wonderful community, and all the great people you brought into our mini-festival.

By Tara White, Tate Collective London