© East Festival / iwantdesign
East London will be awash with arts and culture over the next week as the East Festival 2008 kicks off in Whitechapel, Hackney, Spitalfields, Stratford, Canary Wharf, Barbican and the edge of the City.
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, is promising a week of exciting activities that will show the East End as a hotbed of cultural creativity and innovation.
“East London, with its rich past and present, has long been a real creative hotbed in London,” said Mr Livingstone. “EAST demonstrates the current vitality and creativity of an area that is transforming itself with the advent of the 2012 Games.”
The first night, Thursday March 6, will be rung in by campanologists in 24 churches across the area between 6 and 8pm.
The next five days will feature a host of 400-odd events at venues large and small, covering visual arts, performance, history, film, food and fashion and museums and galleries in the capital have pitched in with an innovative programme of exhibitions and events.
The Barbican Art Gallery has the Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art on show, while the Whitechapel Gallery has lined up a thought provoking film from East End artist Cornelia Parker in which she interviews political thinker Noam Chomsky on environmental issues.
Kinetika is creating a percussion performance group with young people, ‘Bloco East’, in Tower Hamlets (performance at Hackney Museum); artist Bobby Baker is involved in a special residency at Toynbee Hall for the duration of the festival; and Iniva’s Rivington Place gallery will show works by artists living in Cuba.
On the history front, Hackney Museum is holding a whole weekend of special events including an author’s day, historical walks and tours of the borough, the Geffrye Museum is holding a family day on Sunday March 9, and the Museum of London is revealing the story behind the Spitalfields Roman Woman (Friday March 7, 3-3.45pm).
See individual venue listings or the festival website www.findeast.co.uk for further details.