Totally Thames is a month long celebration of the River Thames, featuring a wide variety of artistic and cultural activities, which has been running in one form or another since 1997. A much expanded programme sees events running the whole month of September in locations from Richmond down to Southend. The vision of the organisers includes the following aims: spotlight the river with excellent, surprising and spectacular art, and champion a diverse and sustainable creative riverfront.
Looking through the incredibly diverse programme, some of the events include: art and photography exhibitions, children’s choir performances, an opera river cruise, concerts in the underground bascule of Tower Bridge, tea-tasting events, and a musical and spoken word boat party called Tongue Fu.
One special event this year is Silk River, an ambitious project created by Kinetika, a design and arts organisation, which explores the unique relationship between London and Kolkata through artistic exchange between communities along the Thames Estuary and India’s Hooghly River. This takes place with the backdrop of a year-long programme marking the 70th anniversary of Indian independence.
Ali Pretty, Kinetika’s Artistic Director, is collaborating with associate artistic director Ruchira Das (Think Arts, India) and an international team of artists, writers and photographers “to capture and interpret the experience of journeying along these two mighty rivers”.
From 15th-24th September there will be a series of ‘performative walks’, featuring twenty hand-painted Bengal silk scrolls, which aim to tell the stories of the river and the communities along it. South London locations include Kew, Greenwich and Woolwich with a variety of other places featured, right down to the estuary at Southend. The river walks in India will take place along the Hooghly in December.
So, Totally Thames promises to exceed all previous Thames Festivals in the excellence and variety of its programme this year. You can book all events now through the Totally Thames and Silk Road websites. Look out for Festival updates on our social media throughout September.