Wednesday 26th May 2021 to
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Gareth Evans, one of our lead curators for Estuary 2016 returns for Estuary 2021 with a line up of curated films that respond to our three estuary themes of climate, rebellion and imperial legacy alongside three salon evenings - outlined below. These conversations will be hosted online and will continue Estuary’s investigation into the deep and layered history of our place and its connections to current social and political concerns, both here in the UK and overseas.
Wednesday 26 May: 7pm - 9pm
On the Obsessive Pursuit: Place and its Purpose
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Two long-time collaborators and friends, the acclaimed writers Rachel Lichtenstein and Iain Sinclair come together to talk about the impact of place and how it shapes our understanding of ourselves, our past and our present. They have both written extensively about the Thames Estuary and East London and have enjoyed many a walk together through these landscapes. On this occasion however, they are both currently working on new projects that are concerned with the connections between our own shores and those in distant lands.
Since 2014 Rachel has made multiple trips to the Caribbean Island of Barbados, researching the little known Jewish history of this place, which dates back to 1654. Her work to date explores the Ashkenazi Jewish population who settled on the island from the 1930s onwards, escaping persecution in Europe, as well as Sephardi settlers who arrived in the seventeenth century. She will share with us, records from the archives, oral history recordings and the results of four years of archaeological excavations in the coastal town of Speightstown.
Iain Sinclair’s project includes both a book and a film that connects the Thames and the Amazon. The Gold Machine locates narrative momentum from separate streams. In separate continents. In separate times. Times that miraculously cohere. Or refuse to cohere. Challenging ancestors. Attending to WB Yeats: 'The living can assist the imagination of the dead.'
Wednesday 2 June: 7pm - 9pm
Speaking from Shelter in Place
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In an investigation into the nature of public space and our access to it, Gareth leads a conversation with filmmaker Andrea Luka Zimmerman and musician William Fontaine, the main protagonist in her new work to be premiered at Estuary 2021 Shelter in Place.
Shelter in Place was made during Summer 2020. Performance artist and musician William Fontaine found himself without a place at the beginning of the first Covid 19 lockdown. A public park became his shelter. Over the weeks, he and Andrea practiced martial arts and Andrea noticed a community slowly forming around him. This film is a portrait of his being in the park, of the park itself, and of those who gathered. Sound and image are out of synch, just as so much of the world was – and is. It is not a documentary of that time, but a document, a witness statement, a poetics of singular presence.
Wednesday 9 June: 7pm - 9pm
The Rebellious Page: Writing the Ecological Emergency
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This final evening in the Estuary Live Lounge series looks at the role of the written word in highlighting the climate crisis, bringing together two amazing, award-winning writers.
Chloe Aridjis is a member of Writers Rebel a group of writers that focus on the climate emergency. She grew up in the Netherlands and Mexico, where her father Homero Aridjis founded the environmental Group of 100, comprised of Latin American artists and intellectuals. She has published three novels— Book of Clouds, Asunder, and Sea Monsters— and has been a guest curator at Tate Liverpool. In 2014 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and, more recently, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Chloe is particularly interested in issues involving animal welfare, and dreams of a world in which animals cease to be exploited.
Jay Griffiths has won numerous awards for her non-fiction books that include Wild: An Elemental Journey, (Hamish Hamilton), the winner of the inaugural Orion Book Award, also shortlisted for the Orwell prize and for the World Book Day award. Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time won the Barnes and Noble ‘Discover’ award for the best new non-fiction writer to be published in the USA, with the citation ‘cleverness in the service of genius’. Her most recent book, Why Rebel (2021) is published as a Penguin Special. It explores the urgency of fascism and ecological harm, and her activism within Extinction Rebellion.