BridgetowerThe resource focuses on the creative and cultural impact of the slave trade in Britain, with a study of artists linked to the anti-slavery movement, and is designed for teachers of Citizenship, Music, Art, History, English, Religious Studies and PSHE. The resource also supported the Bridgetower opera commissioned by the Festival in 2007, based on the life of black British violinist George Bridgetower, a composer and musician for whom Beethoven wrote his famous Kreutzer sonata. The son of a liberated slave, Bridgetower lived and worked in Britain around the time that the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was passed. 


People Movement: A Journey Through Time

Musicians from ‘Music for Change’ led workshops in two primary schools and two secondary schools to create a processional performance based on African dance rhythms for the Opening Procession of the Festival. The workshops touched on musical themes relating to the slave trade, with exploration of West African and Caribbean voice and instrumentation.

Songs of the City

An inter-generational community event by City of London Festival and Sing London and hosted at the Museum of London. The outstanding choirmaster, Gareth Malone, star of BBC Two series The Choir, leads a public singing of songs that celebrate the capital including old and modern classics, from London Bridge and London Pride to Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner.

Wings of Sevdah

Years 7 and 8 students from Tower Hamlets explored pan-European, Middle Eastern and North African music styles found in Sevdah, Bosnia’s urban traditional music, which has intensified in the aftermath of the Balkan war and was the inspiration a new opera by Nigel Osborne, Differences in Demolition, performed by Opera Circus. A student performance combined traditional Sevdah music with the students’ own compositions, with a special in-school performance by artists of Opera Circus.

French Silhouettes

Silhouette artist, Mike Herbert, worked with classes from two secSilhouettesondary schools to create French silhouette art. The name ‘silhouette’ comes from Etienne de Silhouette (1709 – 67) the infamous Controller-General of France, who used to amuse himself at drawing-room gatherings by cutting profiles from paper. This student work provides an additional visual element to the Belle Époque jewellery exhibition and the surrounds of the HMS President Festival club.

JewellryLa Belle Époque

Supported by professional artists, school students designed and crafted three ranges of Nouveau inspired jewellery, while others have created French silhouette art.

City in Motion

A short film and video event open to all further secondary and tertiary students premiered in 2007 in partnership with BFI Southbank, Institut Francais and Barbican Film. Student film-makers responded to the theme ‘Paris/London’ to produce shorts up to 8 minutes in duration, with six finalists screened at Broadgate Arena as part of the Barbican Big Screen event. Bursaries were awarded to two students for ‘Creative use of theme’ and ‘Excellence in production’ after a special screening during the Festival.

Streets of France BannersBanners

Streets of France Banners In partnership with Cloth of Gold Arts, years 8 and 9 students from Banners from four schools designed and crafted digital and screen printed banners inspired by Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux and Huguenot settlements of London. These featured in the Opening Procession, with banners displayed in Bow Lane throughout the Festival.

For the Love of SugarFor Love of Sugar

A visual art installation by Satch Hoyt commemorates the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in Britain. A compelling series of life-size portraits made from sugar and featuring groundbreaking black personalities of 18th and 19th century Britain was displayed in St. Paul's Cathedral. Two slave ships sculpted from jaggery sugar featured in the foyer of the Museum in Docklands – itself a former warehouse for cargos of sugar, molasses, coffee and rum. The works have been created with assistance from fine art and sculpture students of Central St. Martins College and London Metropolitan University, with Hackney secondary students producing a case study of the project as part of their GCSE Applied Art & Design coursework.

JusticeNatural Justice Literary Project

Shoe Lane Library's foyer played host to a clever installation by primary students, resulting from storytelling and art workshops with the Company of Players & Tellers. Featuring life-size characters from the classic French tale of justice, Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, accompanied by soundscapes of the students' reflections on what is just or unjust.

Sponsored by Fidelity International

Etonne moi!Étonne moi!
Guest Parisian choreographer, Lionel Hoche, an associate of the Centre National de la Danse, created a new contemporary dance work for degree students of the Central School of Ballet. This premièred in a spectacular concert on the west steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral during the Festival. The Festival also worked with the Central School of Ballet’s own Education programme to deliver dance workshops based on Hoche’s repertoire in two Southwark secondary schools.


City of London Festival is run by The City Arts Trust Limited, registered charity no. 204828.

Company registered in England no. 716035.

Registered office: Fitz Eylwin House, 25 Holborn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2BP. VAT registration no. 244181478

The City of London Corporation is the principal funder of The City Arts Trust Limited

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