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Artivism & Live Music In The Area

Artivism is the intersection of art and activism, harnesses the critical imagination to design events and strategies that provoke new questions and new meaning in pursuit of more respectful ways of being”.  

Spring is here, maybe even early summer and Arts & Culture in Thames View and Riverside are set to come alive in our shared spaces. This is the spring of the imagination, you could see it as part of nature’s call to spring into action.  

SAVE THE DATE: 27th May | The Warehouse, 47 Thames Road.

 A number of artists are coming together to spark the imagination. Arts and culture are the building blocks of civilisation, and we are coming together with performing artists and musicians for performances to entertain and empower the community. Look out for the artists we are working with below very soon. 


Has been representing Latin music and the Latin community throughout London for the last four years. She has been using her talent in Argentina, taken part in a reality TV show in Honduras and studied Sound Engineering in Denmark. Ana mixes her styles in sound, and performs in community settings, Hip Hop circles and in Latino events. 

Her talent as a singer, songwriter and producer includes engaging in community integration between Hispanic and Latin communities with other protected groups. She also focuses her arts and work on the wellbeing of women and uplifting their struggles with creative expression workshops. We are keen to work with Ana’s critical input in empowering women’s voices with song writing and performances and hope she will deliver the practical elements of her learning to residents on Thames View and Riverside. 

Being one of the first female producers from Honduras, she has been challenging the rhetoric of inappropriate imagery and content from Latin music such as reggaeton and using an empowering and uplifting energy. In Thames View and Barking Riverside, we need to get our music and arts off to a strong start. Ana’s work displays strong feminist values. In an area where there is a lot of income deprivation and less community empowerment, Ana is due to trailblaze a voice to the locals that demonstrates what the socially uplifting music and arts we need in the area.   


UKON are a steel band collective who have been serving communities for a number of years, including performances at Barking Carnival, Notting Hill Carnival and various festivals across the UK. They have a library of Calypso, Soca and cover rhythms to inspire audiences. UKON, have been working towards delivering workshops in Barking and Dagenham, most recently at John Smith House.  

UKON have been delivering workshops in local communities in improvisation skills, the history of steel pans and confidence with team working skills. They build fun rhythms locally and nationally to get people ready for the uniqueness of African and Caribbean culture at Carnival every year and do bespoke events and learning sessions with local residents.  

Thames Life hopes to see the UKON Steel band work more regularly with residents in Thames Ward and Riverside to get residents together and celebrate cultural unity, bringing a sense of connection to the area with live music from the ground up.  


Starting his career in Breakdance in Italy, Emanuel was ‘getting down’ for a number of years battling and dancing across a lot of international competitions and dance cyphers. He decided to move into a DJing career, spinning soul and funk to audiences across Europe and with a residency in Brixton Hootananny with Floor Rippers, a hustle and Breaking event with live musicians and house band. For the last ten years, Emmanuel has moved his career onto drumming and has been teaching with Harrow Arts Centre and gigging every weekend in freestyle music sessions, pub band nights and weddings. 

EMC has taken up the drum kits and has been empowering local communities, drumming at community events alone and with his full live band, the Each One Teach One (EOTO) band. EMC has been teaching drums to young people as an outlet for creative expression and is undertaking live music sessions in community spaces and with organisations across London that want to provide music lessons to young people who may not otherwise be able to afford them due to income inequity. EMC offers his drum skills for free in online tutorials and with EOTO, performs at EPIC Jam twice a year. 

EMC is a community advocate and is often offering his skills for free with a passion of bring live music to areas where is needed. Live music events do not take place as often as we would like in Thames View or Riverside wards, and we are looking forward to EMC playing at an event we have coming up, where we can spark the community into artivism to raise community voice and spirits. 


Sabaman has been performing as a Selecta and rapper specialising in Roots Reggae and Dancehall, performing in Rome and Bologna in Italy and in Birmingham, and London in the UK. He runs a monthly night with Unity Radio, showcasing multi-cultural talent from the world. He has a number of rap albums and runs a record label called RahStars based in South London. 

Sabaman has been delivering workshops at urban arts festival in rap and has been a social uplifting force in the London community, working with a number of grassroots groups to keep the spirit of reggae alive, including ensuring BAME groups take part in the social integration music without losing touch of its African and Caribbean roots.  

We hope Sabaman might be able to stimulate some energy in Thames Ward where grassroots organisers and people will be able to feel there is a way forward to get movements from the ground up in creating social change and positive upliftment. Sabaman intends to drop some roots reggae and provide a cultural and historical context to his work in the reggae, rap and dancehall world.  


Hailing from Bulgaria, Ivaylo started his career as a breaker and has been winning competitions worldwide. He now works as an architect in a central London office and has been DJing for five years in countries including Spain (EachOne TeachOne, Malaga), Italy (Strictly Underground) and the UK in areas such as Newcastle (Just Jam), London and Cambridge (House parties). Ivalyo plays funk and soul, which keep the party going and guests entertained with the uniqueness needed to bring forgotten vibes of a bygone era back to life. 

Ivaylo has been donating his skills as an architect for community groups that need his design support, time pending, and is happy to share his basic knowledge in design. He has completed a number of workshops in community settings such as Crystal Place Festival and in Peckham Levels delivering scratch workshops for young people.

We are hoping that Ivalyo will be able to share his skills on the turntables, in architecture and with Break Dancing with local residents in the area. For these creative arts to continue to inspire residents, they are easily accessible and a prime way to get into playing music with portable turntables, AutoCad, the freeware for architecture design and body movement to funk and soul.  

So please do put the 27th May in your diary and watch this space for more info to come!

ARTiculate the Journey: Unity, Culture, Creativity

ARTiculate The Journey launched on Saturday 23rd October 2021. A new interactive and social painting event in Barking and Dagenham seeking to be a new hot spot for fun, creativity and a safe space for discussion. The event was led by resident creatives, The Kings Decree, Oreyeni Arts, and Swvrthy, who invested their time to share a collaborative approach to creative expression.

The event was attended by 20+ local residents, as well as residents from other London boroughs, all keen to explore black identity through art.

Romeo shares on the event:

What a journey this event has taken!
The belief to make an impact in the community through arts, led to the idea of having three local creative residents collaborate and do something different. This complimentary fusion produced ARTiculate. 
The King's Decree, Oreyeni Arts, and Swvrthy curated a therapeutic event that fuses music, painting, and poetry, allowing the attendees to freely express their thoughts and emotions onto a canvas and through conversations. 
The event was inspiring and uplifting, as it gave others a safe space to have open conversations, a relaxing wind-down, and incredibly good vibes. We had people who had not painted in over 20 years produce artwork that they were proud to take home! The feedback was beautiful as the word that resonated with most attendees was UNITY. 
The vision of this event is to ARTiculate all aspects of life that will help our community grow. Providing a creative safe space to discuss difficult conversations. 

ARTiculate your journey this Black History Month

Over the past few months, we’ve been hard at work with our Arts and Culture steering group members thinking about the importance of Black History Month in the UK and in particular our locality of Barking and Dagenham. All having lived in the area for over 10 years, in reflecting on their own experiences of being Black in Britain wanted to create an event that would have others thinking about their own journeys to understanding their identity.

A successful application to the LBBD’s Equality & Diversity Community fund meant £500 being provided to plan a local event and the start of their own journey working together as residents. ‘ARTiculate the Journey’ is a free (donations are welcome) interactive and social painting event exploring the theme of ‘Journey’ this Black History Month, with food and refreshments provided. All funds raised will be reinvested into future arts events in Thames Ward. The event will showcase the talents of DJ @TheKingsDecree, Poet @Swvrthy and Artist @Oreyeni_Arts, supported by @ThamesWardCP. We will vibe to music, get inspired with some spoken word, and have some fun painting and discussing the journey taken by Black people throughout history.

There are many ways to express how we really feel, and that is the beauty of art. That's why this event allows us to ARTiculate our journey whilst exploring Black History through creative art forms of expression. We want to provide a space to express experiences creatively and to open up discussions around how the community truly feels.

Beginners DJ Workshops welcomed by young people!

Young people welcomed the return of beginner DJ workshops in the community by local resident Josiah Oyekunle (@thekingsdecree)! One student (Yamani) enjoyed his first session so much that he booked another slot the following day. In that session, he was able to curate and create his first mix and DJ for the creative Wellness kids summer programme during their break. 

It felt great being back in the community running DJ workshops again due to the delay caused by the pandemic. Teaching kids how to DJ is a joy for me and seeing their expression and confidence grow once they get their first mix is always priceless.

Josiah was grateful to Sue Bramley for hosting the workshops, which he looks to continue. He commented on the importance of a collaboration of community initiatives, which he said allows for a more closer bond within community!

Inside TWCP: Artist Through Community – Emmanuel

My name is Emmanuel Oreyeni AKA Oreyeni Arts, and I would like to tell you about my story of how I became the artist I am today, through the community.

At the end of year 11, I was introduced to Jamie through the drawings I gave to my teachers, before the last day of secondary school. We then met each other and he told me about TWCP, asking if I would be able to do something for the Growth Summit and we agreed on a small drawing series called the ‘Local Heroes’. This was inspired by how it reminded me of the Avengers; as individuals they have their flaws but in a group they are the earth’s mightiest heroes!

Since then, TWCP has given me the edge to do more with my art and turned it into a career! They have taught me not to wait for things to come to me but to make them happen by seeking out opportunities. So I did! From working with them I expanded my network by working with the Council on numerous projects; including the virtual Christmas festival, and ‘One Borough, One Love’ festival. I also became the youngest steering group member to receive funding at the age of 17, and designed a programme of drawing sessions in early lockdown. Now, I’m painting murals for large companies like Be First and the McLaren Construction Group and most recently for BRL – a mural for their Wilds Ecology Centre in Barking Riverside. I am so proud of what I have achieved from the very beginning of my career until now and I’m excited for university; to study art and see where art will take me next!

In the future, I hope to become well known not just because of my work but because of how young I started and what I was able to do. I now have confidence in my work through the Community Comics and numerous other art based projects and connecting with TWCP opened the door to these opportunities. Even with social media, I remember having only a few followers but now I see it growing. It’s not a rapid increase but one that progresses as my artwork progresses and that is what I love, the progression! After university I plan to do more work professionally and to gain experience in other related fields such as film, costume design, fashion, it could be anything!

Emmanuel Oreyeni

Local artist and TWCP steering group member

Young ARTivists receives £1300 from Thames Talk Fund

Emmanuel Oreyeni, Founder of Young ARTivists, received the great news that his arts-based social justice movement had received 26% of the Thames Talk poll votes, and so secured £1300. Thames Talk, a community engagement platform created by Barking Riverside Limited, directly involves local residents in decisions made for Thames Ward. Participants take part by completing the polls to automatically receive digital ‘coins’ which are then donated in return for real cash rewards for local groups.

What is Young ARTivists?

Young ARTivists (YA) is a new youth-led and arts-based social justice movement for young people in Thames Ward who want to use their talents in art, dance, drama, film, music, and poetry to raise awareness on issues affecting the youth of Thames Ward. YA offers fun and creative ways to elevate the voices of young people and an opportunity to empower them to take action on issues they are passionate about for the benefit of their community.

The project is supported by TWCP and will work closely with the Young Citizen Action Group (YCAG).

The Programme

The funding will support the running of a four-month initial programme to engage the young people in Thames Ward who want to use their artistic talents to raise awareness of, and get their voices heard on, issues they are passionate about, engaging the wider community using their creativity and critical thinking.

The programme will be based on social issues chosen by the young people. Weekly sessions will be run by Emmanuel incorporating a range of different artistic mediums to allow participants to develop their skills together to start building a network of powerful creatives seeking social change.

A final exhibition will be hosted to showcase the work of the young people and to engage the wider community.,

How To Get Involved

If you would like more information about the Young ARTivists programme, please complete the form below.

TWCP x Konverse Dance Crews Present Cypher on the Floor

What is it?

Cypher On The Floor, an event funded by Model City, was designed to bring young people within the Thames Ward area and wider community together through the art of dance! Despite the limitations surrounding the pandemic, Cypher On The Floor maintained the importance of providing a platform where young people could still partake in physical activity and improve their mental well being.

The Impact

Two events were successfully completed online (via zoom) due to the lockdown restrictions, with a hugely encouraging 34 young people present! They competed in groups of two, four and six, across two categories – choreography and freestyle.

Round 1

The choreography round: dancers were invited to  perform a routine set by the choreographer and perform to the best of their ability. Judges were given scorecards to mark the participants. The participants with the lowest score was knocked out.

Round 2

The freestyle round: dancers were invited to perform their best freestyle routine to a random piece of music chosen by the DJ (Josiah aka The King’s Decree). Judges scored accordingly and decided the winning places for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

It was really nice to be able to do something fun other than zoom for school. It was really good seeing everyone again it's been soo long.

There were 23 winners in total over the two dates, including extra prizes that were awarded for participation. The prizes received were vouchers from JD, One4All, and Amazon. These ranged from £20 to £60. The young people were also surprised with an encouraging message from rapper Nadia Rose. They could hardly contain their excitement!

So after months of planning, and a few setbacks along the way due to Covid, it’s finally happened. It was great to provide an outlet for young people who love dance, especially during this difficult period. It's amazing watching their expression and confidence shining through even if it's through a screen on zoom. This has given me more encouragement to see this idea grow further. I know if we did this event in person it would have great success. This is just the beginning.

How to get involved?

If you are interested in getting involved in future dance events, sign up by completing the form below.

Local artist brings Christmas to life with BRL

After submitting a illustration for the virtual run, TWCP Steering Group member and Barking Riverside resident Emmanuel strikes again with Barking Riverside London to create a illustration that shows the festive cheer of residents in Thames Ward, uniting the community in the lockdown.

On the 17th October, 2020, Emmanuel shot his shot with Barking Riverside London asking them if they wanted an illustration for their virtual run. With speedy delivery as usual, Emmanuel drew an illustration of people running with their masks on, socially distanced. On 23rd November, 2020, BRL contacted him again in collaboration that gave him the opportunity to create a landscape Christmas illustration that was needed ASAP, as always, Emmanuel mustered his festive creativity and painted a moonlight scene with houses on the opposite side of land, the Thames in the middle and families on the shore, looking to the stars with a glimpse of Santa on his slay whizzing past the moon. Not only did he paint the landscape he also filmed a time-lapse of the piece with breath-taking visuals of himself creating the piece, all using his phone!

“I am blessed to have the opportunity to work with BRL, as a young resident it is music to my ears when the youth of Thames Ward who have talent are being represented in the Borough by the same people who decide what goes on in Thames Ward. With this piece I hope to unite the community in truth, solidarity and prayer at Christmas and all year round most and especially help one another in this climate”.

Emmanuel Oreyeni, 18, TWCP Steering Group member and Barking Riverside resident

Local artist brings virtual Christmas to life for the borough!

Barking and Dagenham Council have asked local artist and TWCP Steering Group member Emmanuel Oreyeni (@Oreyeni_Arts) to produce 16 Christmas-themed landscape drawings for their virtual Christmas event taking place on the 5th December.

This is one of many new opportunities that have come Emmanuel’s way recently to share his talents with the borough following on from his work with TWCP. On Sunday 20th September 2020 Emmanuel created a stunning piece of artwork for the Summer of Festivals ‘One Borough, One Love’ Festival, drawing all of the acts that performed from ‘Beans on Toast’ to Andy Day from CBeebies, he still has people talking about his contribution to this day!

The council just got the go ahead for a virtual Christmas event for children on 5th December from 1.30pm to 5.30pm and wanted to get Emmanuel’s help to create some virtual backgrounds for part of the event that will interact with kids as they put on their detective hats with Mrs Clause and find out “who ate all the cookies?”

“It will be tough to get all of these pieces done in time, but I know that I can do it! I’m really happy to have been asked by the council to do this work because it’s more valuable experience and it means a lot to me that my art will make children happy during a difficult Christmas”  

Emmanuel Oreyeni, Local artist and TWCP Steering Group Member

Will Emmanuel rise to the challenge of getting all of the pieces done in time? To find out more and follow along with his progress follow him on Instagram @Oreyeni_Arts and also check out Summer of Festivals for more info about the event.

Good luck Emmanuel!

Local DJ/Producer, Thames View resident and TWCP Co-Chair Josiah Oyekunle receives £2,000 funding from Barking and Dagenham renew

Josiah has become the latest TWCP Steering Group member to successfully present one of his ideas to local funding body Barking and Dagenham Renew.

Throughout the Covid-19 lockdown Josiah has been running a weekly music show every Friday at 5pm on the TWCP Instagram, Facebook and Zoom channels.

Thanks to the funding he has received he is now able to continue to run the show even while the lockdown eases and be paid for the time he spends every week helping residents of Thames Ward and wider Barking and Dagenham lift their spirits up and feel positive despite difficult circumstances.

He will also be able to buy some much needed equipment to help him expand the Vibes & Bounce show to become even more interactive with the opportunity for Riverside School students (who have been attending Josiah’s DJ workshops prior to the pandemic) to appear as Guest DJs!

Well done Josiah and BIG THANKS once again to Barking and Dagenham Renew for empowering residents to solve #localproblems with #local solutions

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