Where there is a stage, mic or tortured artiste, a kettle of critic shaped vultures isn’t far behind. So, what would happen if they all came together?

Somerset House has played host to an exceptional program of events, glitz and communal creative hubs. On December 5th a panel will come together to debate, discuss and reflect on contemporary cultural practices in London.

The Eye of Bamako and the London Scene: in photography, style and leisure, will be hosted and moderated by renowned cultural commentator Ekow Eshun, artist and curator Harris Elliott, and photographer Dean Chalkley where they will highlight the fragility of London life as the threat of urban development creeps through our streets. They will also be discussing the city’s underground music scene and how street style represents London’s off kilter personality.


Dean Chalkley

An award winning contemporary photographer and filmmaker, renowned for his iconic portraiture. Dean has shot many memorable magazine covers, record sleeves, advertising and fashion campaigns. His work reflects a love for sub and popular culture, celebrating the individuals within them. Dean’s work has been exhibited in galleries internationally including FoMu, Somerset House, The V&A, The Turner Contemporary, and La Foret Museum in Japan. It also features in the permanent MoMA Collection.

Harris Elliott

A visual storyteller and multi-disciplinary artist, curator and stylist who conceives and delivers gallery shows, installations, advertising and music campaigns for a range of international clients. Culture and art inspires his aesthetic. Harris is the highly acclaimed curator of ‘Punk in Translation’ and the Creative Director for Kate Tempest, Let Them Eat Chaos.

Ekow Eshun

A writer, cultural commentator and award-winning broadcaster. His book, Black Gold of the Sun: Searching for Home in England and Africa was nominated for the Orwell Prize for political writing in 2005. The former Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts from 2005-10, he is also the former Editor of Arena and former Deputy Editor of The Face. His writing has appeared in publications including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Observer, Vogue and Wallpaper and he appears frequently on TV and radio programmes including Radio 4’s Saturday Review and Front Row.

The unorthodox “town hall” meeting is a call to arms, a chance to defend the city’s identity and celebrate the inventive music, eccentric traditions and ever original street style which form the very foundations that your city, our city stand upon.


Header image: Bevan Agyemang and Macharia Brian Gathii Return of the Rudeboy : Dean Chalkley x Harris Elliott Image © Dean Chalkley