Finborough Theatre’s Poplarism! A digital arts festival

The Finborough Theatre has just announced its digital arts festival celebrating the centenary of the Poplar Rates Rebellion of 1921.

Led by George Lansbury, former Mayor of Poplar and future leader of the Labour Party, the Poplar Rates Rebellion of 1921 was one of the milestones of local London history where local government stood against central government on behalf of the poor and the least privileged in society.

Poplarism! is a unique collaboration between two very different venues in two very different parts of London – the recently opened arts and community space, Poplar Union, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, one of London’s most deprived boroughs, and the long-established Finborough Theatre, located in one of London’s wealthiest areas, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The two venues are now joining together in a spirit of cross-London partnership and reconciliation to celebrate this milestone in London’s history.

Supported by their patron, Dame Angela Lansbury, the Finborough Theatre based here in Kensington & Chelsea and Poplar Union, based in Tower Hamlets, the competition invites all residents to submit a proposal outlining their creative response to the events of 1921.

Applicants should respond to the theme as naturally and instinctively as possible, though the work should be in some way a response to the events, personalities and issues of 1921 – though this is very much open to interpretation. This can be from people of any age and can be presented in any way – music, dance, a performance, drawing, poem, talk, zine, anything that can be presented digitally.

Submissions open on 1st February 2021 and are open until 1st March 2021.

The programming teams at Poplar Union and the Finborough Theatre will select 10 submissions (5 from Tower Hamlets, and 5 from Kensington and Chelsea) to receive a micro-commission of £300 each to put towards the creation of the work. The artists selected will also receive guidance and support from the Poplar Union and the Finborough Theatre in developing their piece.

The Festival:
Saturday, 1st May 2021 to Tuesday, 4th May 2021
The winning submissions will be streamed online – submissions from Tower Hamlets will be streamed on Finborough Theatre’s YouTube/digital channels, and submissions from Kensington and Chelsea will be streamed on Poplar Union’s YouTube/digital channels.
There will also be Q&A sessions online every day during the festival with the artists involved.

For more information visit their website.

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