LondonA Glittering City: Ayo Akingbade with Duchamp & Sons
“The magic of the glittering city had confused her” – Cyprian Ekwensi, Glittering City, Lokotown and Other Stories (1966)
Concrete tower blocks, glossy high rises, red buses and trains in transit weave the social landscape of everyday London living. Speaking to architects, public sector workers and young people, artist and filmmaker Ayo Akingbade (b.1994, London) creates moving image work that forges conversations on urbanism, gentrification, power and resilience.
How do you come to feel part of a community? Over six months, Akingbade collaborated with Whitechapel Gallery’s youth collective Duchamp & Sons to explore ideas of place and belonging. Through workshops, screenings and fieldwork in the local area, they traced memories of displacement and the meaning of home, interrogating present challenges and future aspirations.
Echoing the uncertain times we live in, the new commission Fire In My Belly (2021) offers a compelling portrait of London through the voices of young people, as they navigate an uncharted road map of the city. Presented alongside Dear Babylon (2019), a film essay that follows three art students and their investigations on the future of social housing.
Whitechapel Gallery’s Youth Programme is generously supported by the Aldgate Connect BID; Dorota and Olivier Audemars; Capital Group; Swarovski Foundation; and the Worshipful Company of Grocers
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)