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Peckham 24 announces Photo London Week programme

Check out what’s planned for this year’s Peckham 24 Festival.

Peckham 24 2021 installation shot
Installation view: Peckham 24, 2021 edition. Photograph by Leah Band

The Peckham 24 three-day festival of contemporary photography returns for its fifth edition this week.

The festival will return to Copeland Park and Bussey Building from Friday, September 10, to Sunday, September 12.

This year’s programme, which takes place during Photo London Week, is curated on the theme of SOLIDARITY.

Exhibitions and live events will give a voice to the urgent global issues of our time.

Artists will respond to the Black Lives Matter movement, LGBTQ+ experience, women’s rights and lived experience with mental health.

This year’s headline shows feature timely projects from a new generation of exciting talent.

There is also an opportunity to revisit an early Super-8 video work, Why I Never Became a Dancer, by Tracey Emin.

Installation view of Peckham 24 2021
Installation view: Peckham 24, 2021 edition. Photograph by Leah Band

Why I Never Became a Dancer

Like the majority of Tracey Emin’s works, Why I Never Became a Dancer, is autobiographical.

Emin recalls her teenage bid to leave the seaside town of Margate by entering the British Dancing Championship.

However, as she danced, she was humiliated by a group of boys chanting ‘Slag, Slag, Slag’.

In the video, her final words are ‘Shane, Eddy, Tony, Doug, Richard…This one’s for you’ as she dances away from the small town world.

She recalls: “As a fifteen year old girl I had outgrown not just my hometown but also the men in it.

“I’m not a slag, just loved sex, that’s all.”

This artwork is on loan from the Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London.

Peckham 24 Open Call winner

Poetics of resistance from the archive in two acts is an exhibition by Pablo Lerma and Javier Hirschfeld.

It draws from their personal experiences of being unable to self-identify with the stereotype of a gay man created and perpetuated by heteronormative expectations.

It sheds light onto different performativities of queerness.

The artists approach the archive from two unique entry points.

Lerma narrows down his research to images distributed in the 70s-90s – crucial decades for the formation and dissemination of the contemporary queer culture.

Meanwhile, Hirschfeld establishes an aesthetic connection between images from the early 19th century with contemporary images of dating apps.

The exhibition is curated by Raquel Villar Perez.

It is the winner of the Peckham 24 Open Call and is supported by Spectrum Photographic.  

Reclaiming the narrative

Aida Silvestri’s Black Men Are Good is a mixed media portrait project.

It seeks to challenge stereotypical views and encourage black men to reclaim their own narrative.

The series is dedicated to Arike (1949-2020).

He invested decades of his life to empowering black men and creating awareness of the notion that ‘Black Men Are Good’.

The Archive of Public Protests is a joint project.

It was created in response to the mass demonstrations that have become a regular feature of life in Poland since the election of a right-wing nationalist government in 2015.

The archive’s collection of images constitute a warning against a rising tide of populism and socio-political tensions in Poland.

It tackles xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, racism and the climate crisis.

The platform is the brainchild of photographer, visual artist and Magnum nominee Rafal Milach.

Milach gathered together a group of photographers, activists, artists and sociologists to document the marches and strikes.

Turbine Bagh is a joint artists’ movement against authoritarianism, fascism and the rise of far-right nationalism in India and Bangladesh.

The name references Shaheen Bagh, the women-led protest in Delhi at the epicentre of resistance against India’s right-wing government prior to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Shaheen Bagh challenged patriarchy, but also western stereotypes of the ‘muslim woman’.

The exhibition at Peckham 24 will display samosa packets printed with images submitted by artists from across India and beyond.

The packets depict moments of collective solidarity and mass protest in the face of repression across the globe.

They are accompanied by urgent calls for the release of political prisoners such as the BK16 in India.

Identity and photographic representation

Åsa Johannesson’s The Queering of Photography is a London based project.

It explores the complex relationship between queer identity and photographic representation.

Rooted in studio portraiture, it simultaneously examines the parameters of identity and the parameters of the photograph.

The sitter’s pose, gaze and the materiality of the photographic image are called into question through a formal yet playful aesthetic.

Marie Smith’s Whispering for help is a collaborative project.

It seeks to create community whilst exploring conversations on mental health and wellbeing with women of colour.

The series pairs personal diaristic texts with photographic portraits made by Smith.

Handwritten annotations allow the women to have agency over their narrative.

The portraits’ locations in parks and woodlands around the UK were chosen by the women to evoke safe spaces.

In Light emerging artists reflect on the current context of Hong Kong.

The series features work by Caleb Fung, Liao Jiaming, O’Young Moli, Julian, Tang Kwong San, Yuen Nga Chi, Wong Wei-him and Catrine Val.

It was curated by Monica Allende for Seen Fifteen and Safehouse 2.

Each artist offers varied interpretations of light while exploring the possibilities of the media of photography, film, performance, and pinhole camera to bring attention to the city’s transforming social climate.

The artists are the winners of the WMA Masters award 2019- 2020.

This is the first time the work has gone on display to the public.

Val is the recipient of the 2019-2020 WMA Commission grant.

Peckham 24

Since its launch in 2016, Peckham 24 has become a celebrated fixture of Photo London Week.

It highlights new work by young and experimental photographic artists.

Peckham 24 2021 is on from Friday, September 10, to Sunday, September 12.

It will have a late opening on Friday from 6pm to midnight.

View the full programme at