September event highlights

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Tower Hamlets has a vibrant arts scene, and a host of family and community activities. We hope you find something to enjoy.

For more events taking place in Tower Hamlets this month, visit our What’s on Guide for arts and entertainment listings.

What's on in Tower Hamlets      >

Banglaverse Film Festival

Banglaverse Film Festival

Banglaverse Film Festival is part of Bangladesh@50, a season of events organised by the council to mark 50 years since the independence of Bangladesh, a pivotal moment for the large Bengali community in the borough.

The festival will highlight the key events of 1971, when Bangladesh gained its independence and the War of Liberation took place. Films include the award-winning documentary Rising Silence (2019), the poignant documentary Muktir Gaan (1995) and the action film Shongram (2019).

Screenings will take place at the Brady Arts Centre, Genesis Cinema and Rich Mix . The festival will also include a night of music with Grand Union Orchestra who will bring their fusion of traditional Bengali songs and influences from wider cultures to reflect the variety of music in London's East End. Completing the line up is an evening of live acts from Hope N Mic including singers, poets, wordsmiths and musicians on the theme of freedom, independence and fighting injustice. 

John Adams: Sea Shanties - new exhibition at The Brady Arts Centre

John Adams - Sea Shanties

John Adams is a mixed media artist who works from a studio/container in the Old Town of Leigh, Essex a fishing village which has retained a lot of its character despite modernisation in the fishing industry. He’s been a practicing artist for over 40 years and has taught art and photography to all ages during that time. He was one of the first teachers of photography in schools in the country and having taught himself, went on to do a degree in documentary photography, focusing on the Leigh on Sea cockling industry.

The theme of this exhibition at The Brady Arts Centre is the sea and estuary which surrounds John’s studio. The work of this exhibition explores the connections between his surroundings and places further along the estuary towards London. John has collected many of the objects included in this exhibition while beachcombing and travelling, combining them with other collected materials in his assemblages to tell imaginative tales of travel. The exhibition is open from 1 – 28 September.

Dancing City returns to Canary Wharf

Dancing City

London’s much-loved annual outdoor dance festival returns with an extended two-day programme, showcasing captivating performances across the extraordinary piazzas, parks and waterfronts of Canary Wharf. Dancing City offers a surprising and uniquely European alfresco experience here in Tower Hamlets. Amongst many delights this year there’s daring dance circus on a forest of poles, a spectacular fusion of water and dance, acrobatic ingenuity on an airmat and juggling virtuosity based on the choreographies of Merce Cunningham.

The programme will be repeated across the two days, so come along for a jam-packed day of dance or take it easy and make a weekend of it.

Look Again at the Art Pavilion

Look Again - exhibition at the Art Pavilion

This exhibition of paintings by Abhayavajra Newman explores original ways in which traditional tools, materials and processes can give rise to new and unexpected meanings.

Many years of painting, teaching and reflection have led him deeper into the question ‘What is a painting?’ Increasingly, this has focused on how the physical painting and our perception of the painted image are intertwined. A painting comes into being in the same way anything and everything comes into being. The artist makes the work ‘in collaboration’ with the materials, and the viewer remakes it within their own perception.

Newman hopes his work prompts questions such as ‘What am I looking at?’ and ‘How has it come into being?’ This extensive exhibition will show some of the large oil paintings that have come out of that exploration over the last five years.

The exhibition is open at The Art Pavilion, Mile End Park from 24 September to 2 October.

Into Focus - Free photography course for Tower Hamlets residents

Into Focus - Free photography course for Tower Hamlets residents

Want to know more about photography and developing your own prints?  Into Focus is a free, part-time course run by Four Corners exploring film photography. Collaborate with people from across Tower Hamlets to develop camera skills in just 12 weeks. The course is open to Tower Hamlets residents aged 14–25 and over 50.  Applications are open until 9 September.

Learn about different camera techniques and get the chance to put these into practice in our professional photography studio. Experiment with printing methods in the Four Corners' darkroom. Explore Tower Hamlets through local photography walks. Showcase your work online and/or at Four Corners' Gallery (covid-permitting).

Supported by Tower Hamlets Council Community Fund.

Paint Jam London: Old Flo

Paint Jam London: Old Flo

A free Henry Moore inspired painting workshop with Paint Jam London where Henry Moore’s Draped Seated Woman sculpture at Cabot Square will be the life model of the day.

Paint Jam London is the original paint party – a quirky event in our unique pop-up art studio. Join Paint Jam on Saturday 18 September to make art inspired by Draped Seated Woman, also known as Old Flo. Start with a warmup exercise with chalks and pastels on paper, then paint your own canvas with acrylic paints. Get creative and go home with an original artwork.

This workshop are suitable for all abilities and no experience is required. The workshops are free to attend, but you must book a place.

What Shall We Build Here

What Shall We Build Here - festival from Artsadmin

What Shall We Build Here is Artsadmin's festival of art, climate and community at Toynbee Studios in Aldgate East, across east London and in your local supermarket.

From mini-golf for dogs to outdoor performances, audio works to coffee mornings, Artsadmin invites you to events that imagine ways of living together that are just and sustainable for people and the planet.  The festival takes place 8-12 September. Many festival events are free or tickets are from £5. Explore the programme.   

Immersion is a collaboration between artist Selina Thompson, the People of Tower Hamlets and the Air they Breathe. On 10 September, there are four free outdoor performances from 2pm-8pm across Tower Hamlets, created from the breath of local women of colour.  The last 18 months has highlighted our inability to breathe freely, whether it is due to covid, racism or air pollution, Immersion explores the sacredness of breath. Watch the trailer

Free Friday music at Oxford House

Free Friday music at Oxford House

East Londoners can enjoy free live music every Friday at Oxford House, the beating heart of Bethnal Green since 1884, celebrating a diverse bouquet of local rising-stars, jazz, folk, funk, nu-classical, spoken word and even some local tap!

After closure due to the pandemic, Oxford House are delighted to invite visitors to their free Friday music series. These informal music performances in the newly refurbished cafe will see a mixture of established and emerging musicians from the world of jazz and folk, alongside exciting singer songwriters.  Check out the September programme.

Victoria Park bandstand - last concerts for 2021 season

The summer bandstand season in Victoria Park

Head down to the last of our summer Sundays at Victoria Park bandstand with two more free concerts from Victoria Park Friends Group.

On Sunday 12 September you can catch performances from  Otto & The Mutapa Calling, The Gallivants Roaming Band East London Late Starters Orchestra and Bow Django On Sunday 19 September Graham Pike Sextet Hannah and The Muckers will bring 2021 bandstand season to a close.

Come and enjoy a great, free family afternoon at Victoria Park's famous bandstand from 2 – 5pm.

The bandstand season is brought to you by Victoria Park Friends Group in partnership with Tower Hamlets Council. 

Memoirs of a Cockney Sikh

Memoirs of a Cockney Sikh

Rich Mix invite you to join Suresh Singh and Bishopsgate Institute archivist Stefan Dickers to reflect on being born and bred in Brick Lane.

Suresh Singh, author of A Modest Living, Memoirs of a Cockney Sikh recalls his Bengali friends describe him as ‘one of us’.  Suresh became the first Punjabi punk, playing drums for Spizzenergi and touring with Siouxsie & the Banshees. In the book, chapters of biography are alternated with Sikh recipes by Jagir Kaur.

Stefan Dickers is the Special Collections and Archives Manager at Bishopsgate Institute and looks after its extensive material on London, Protest and LGBTQ+ History. There will be a visual sharing of the Suresh Singh Archive kept at the Bishopsgate Institute. This event is suitable for audience members aged 12 and above.

Yoko Ono: MEND PIECE for London

Yoko Ono: MEND PIECE for London

Whitechapel Gallery visitors are invited to respond to this instruction from artist, musician and activist Yoko Ono.

Take a seat at a table on which are placed broken fragments of ceramic cups and saucers and some simple materials for repair – scissors, glue, twine and tape. When you have finished ‘mending’, you can display the results of your efforts along the shelves on the walls.

MEND PIECE for London draws on the Japanese tradition of kintsugi, the art of repairing broken pottery using lacquer mixed with precious metals such as gold and silver. The process nurtures breakage as an important part of an object’s history, rather than seeking to disguise it. In this artwork, the physical act of repair becomes a timely metaphor for a different kind of mending which takes place in the mind and through community.

Open now until 2 January 2022.  Free but booking required.

Image: Yoko Ono, Mend Piece 1966/2018 - Broken cups and saucers, thread, glue, tape Installation view: ‘You & I’, A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa, 2018 Image courtesy of the artist

CASA  - London's Latinx cultural festival

CASA Festival 2021 at venues across Tower Hamlets

CASA, London’s Latinx arts, performance, culture, music and film festival returns for its 11th edition. Showcasing some of the beautiful, challenging and unique work being made both in Latin America and by the UK’s Latinx artists community, the festival runs throughout September at venues across London including several in Tower Hamlets.

Monochrome Studios in Whitechapel will host a multidisciplinary art exhibition as well as live performances of comedy, music, dance, macrame, tinder memoirs, and pachamama-yoga, a Latina drag performance challenging what being a Latina migrant is all about.

The CASA film programme includes the UK Premiere of award-winning Mexican migrant drama “Identifying Features” at Curzon Hoxton and “Asphyxia” at Genesis Cinema, documenting the Guatemalans who were detained and disappeared under the country’s military dictatorship.

Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park 180th anniversary!

Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park celebrates their 180th anniversary

To celebrate 180 years (to the day) of this magnificent historic cemetery, Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park invite you all to an open day on Saturday 4 September. There will be stalls from local history groups and makers as well as free guided walks (part of Open House London) and even free creative heritage workshops where you can have a go at making your own clay gravestone. Come down and find out more about the history of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and the work the Friends do to keep the site thriving.

To attend a walk or workshop please book as places may be limited, but please drop in and see the other things that are going on!

Wapping Docklands Market - autumn events

Wapping Docklands Market

This month the team behind this new food market at Brussels Wharf invite you to the 'The Wapping German Beer Festival' on Saturday 25 September.  Head down to the market to find German beer and cheese pairings, Bavarian themes and Lederhosen - any customers wearing a Lederhosen will get 10% off in the German beer tent!  Saturday October 30 will see a Halloween themed market with lots of pumpkin themed drinks, food and carvings.

Alongside their extensive selection of fresh produce and seating for over 100, the Wapping Docklands Market, plays host to live artists, live bands (every week 1pm - 4pm), a vibrant mix of street food with origins from across the world, and of course a pub stocking wonderful craft beers and cocktails.

Find the market every Saturday at Brussels Wharf, Wapping, opposite the Prospect of Whitby pub.

Tower Hamlets Council coronavirus updates

We continue to work with Public Health England, the NHS and a wide range of partners to ensure we're doing everything we can, in line with the government advice, and urging our residents to do the same. Please regularly check for the latest advice and subscribe to updates.

Are you organising events?

If you are organising arts or cultural events, either online or at your venue in Tower Hamlets, please submit listings to our What’s On pages.

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Gally Space Brady Art Centre

Tower Hamlets Arts and EventsTeam

Brady Arts Centre, 192 - 196 Hanbury Street, E1 5HU

020 7364 7921 | |

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