Hailing, as I do, from Streatham, I’m always pleased to see artistic attempts to reframe, develop and provide counternarratives to traditional ideas about oft-misrepresented areas of London.
So I’m especially happy to report the return, this week, of the Elefest festival of arts and culture focusing on the Elephant and Castle, South-East London. There’s plenty of great multidisciplinary stuff going on, and though it’s not particularly imaginative on my part, I’d thought I’d simply repurpose the event’s punchy press release here on PPH. All the info you could possibly need on Elefest is below, but if I had to pick a highlight, it would be the special screening of Perry Henzell’s classic Jamaican drama The Harder They Come followed by a DJ set by the inimitable Don Letts at the Hotel Elephant.
Elefest is the Elephant & Castle Festival. It is a celebration of one of the best-known but misunderstood parts of London. Elefest is now in its 11th year, and the area once known as the “Piccadilly of the South” is once again on the verge of massive change. Elefest’s programme celebrates the past, present and future of the Elephant and Castle. It mixes home-grown with national and international talent and some that are in-between.
Over the past 11 years Elefest has brought to the area a wide variety of live events, set up a solar-powered cinema on the Heygate Estate, curated photographic exhibitions in the subways of the Elephant & Castle, and showcased emerging artists that have gone on to hit the spotlight (including Paloma Faith).
This year Elefest is bigger, better and bolder than ever. For the 2013 edition, Elefest is bringing top class entertainment to the Elephant & Castle and surrounding areas with three major pop-up cinema and music events:Noise of Art (DJ Ben Osborne, DJ Justin Robertson, Coldcut, The People Pile – feat. RSC actor Nathaniel Parker) presenting their live film/dance/electronica remix of classic British horror film The Wicker Man; an anniversary screening of ’70s cult movie The Harder They Come with a special DJ set by punk/reggae legend Don Letts; and a screening of award-winning British thriller London to Brighton plus Q&A with international film star Johnny Harris (born and bred at the Elephant & Castle).
The StockMKT will be returning to Elefest with their traders offering food and artisanal products over the festival weekend in a bespoke new indoor venue on Newington Causeway set up in conjunction with Hotel Elephant Gallery, where there will also be popup ping pong offered by PuPP and live bands.
For the second year running Elefest is also hosting the UK Skateboarding Film Festival for a day of live shows and music acts headlined by British Beatbox Champion Reeps One – a performer of such incredible vocal ability that he has been the subject of a scientific study by UCL.
Events including an Elephant & Castle Subway Murals tour with the artist David Bratby, a talk about the local history with Stephen Humphrey accompanied by a slideshow on glorious 35mm film at Perronet House, a free screening at The Electric Elephant Café and Gallery, an interactive art installation in the E&C Shopping Centre, a Treasure Hunt and a Guerrilla Gardening event will showcase the urban landscape of the E&C and some fantastic new venues.
We are linking up with Corsica Studios for a special closing night party (headline acts: Smoke Fairies and a special appearance fromSaint Saviour and guests), as well as The Cinema Museum, The London College of Communication and South Bank University to establish a new creative hub for South London at the Elephant and Castle roundabout.
Lots of the events are free of charge, which means you can just turn up. But for the full programme, click here. And for more information, you can contact Irene Musumeci at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07855 201 725.