Our Curatorial Statement

Our Croydon was a festival featuring a series of exhibitions and public programme events exploring experiences and ideas of community archiving and storymaking across generations in Croydon, reflecting on how people make a place. Together, members of the community and commissioned artists have been defining what shared heritage and personal legacy means to them. 

Exhibitions at Stanley Arts, Talawa Theatre and Turf Projects featured a new photography and text installation by actor, poet and artist Jeremiah Brown, a new audio installation by composer and sound designer felix taylor and a film made in collaboration with elders from Croydon’s Caribbean community made by poetic-activist, drama therapist and performer, Nina Mdwaba.  

Workshops, talks and events included a screening of Our Croydon’s Legacy film & conversation with filmmaker Nina Mdwaba, a talk and theatre workshop with Rachael Nanyonjo, Co-Creator/ Director of Recognition, and a listening and scoremaking workshop with Our Croydon commissioned artist felix taylor.

Croydon as a borough is constantly rewriting its history, and Our Croydon has been a collaborative process of artists and participants making individual and collective narratives of Croydon. As curators and producers, recognising the forms of remembrance, archiving and heritage making that are already present and ongoing in Croydon’s African and Caribbean communities was core to our work.

Our Croydon has been about Black joy, holding change within the community and the preciousness of intergenerational knowledge and stories. Whilst it is not overtly political, the complex politics of race, space, the economics of gentrification and class have come up many times on the project. Our Croydon worked with the community to explore and define together what heritage is and how identity is formed in response to heritage and place. 

Incorporating archival practices, film/moving image, photography, sound, text and performance, Our Croydon celebrates the wonder and surprise embedded in the stories of the everyday of living and working in Croydon. 

Lehni Lamide Davies, Co-Curator / Co-Producer 
Dr Cecilia Wee, Co-Curator / Co-Producer 
Amina Jama, Assistant Curator / Producer

Image Credit: Sam Nightingale

Our Croydon was a project led by Talawa Theatre Company in partnership with Museum of Croydon and Stanley Arts, part of London Borough of Culture.

For enquiries, email contact@talawa.com