Mapping Brixton Through Song

Date Residency: 13 October - 3 November
Date Mapping Brixton Through Song: 13 October 2022
Location Border Crossings' ORIGINS Festival, The Advocacy Academy, Brixton, London
Date Mapping Brixton Through Song: 19 October 2022
Location Border Crossings' ORIGINS Festival, Brixton Library, London
Date Performance: 3 November 2022
Location University of Glasgow Chaplaincy, Scotland

Local people who care passionately about Brixton’s music, history and culture wanted for a unique music project.

Indigenous Australian musician Jessie Lloyd has been researching and reviving old mission songs through consultation with senior Indigenous songmen and songwomen since 2016. The huge success of her Mission Songs Project has led to an invitation to London from Border Crossings’ ORIGINS Festival, where she will apply her Indigenous methodology of working with communities in an international context, to a creative music context with elders and youth in the Black community around Brixton with Tony Cealy from 81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance.

Jessie’s grandfather Albie Geia was a leader in the 1957 Palm Island Strike, which, like the events in Brixton, was labelled a “riot”, leading to his imprisonment.

We will explore the commonalities of experience between Indigenous Australians and Black Britons, using music to commemorate a specific heritage and emphasise its place within global histories of racism and emerging processes of reconciliation.

Join Jessie to jam or listen – bring an instrument and enjoy!

Special Event

You can also join Jessie at the University of Glasgow Memorial Chapel in Scotland on the 3 November for a special performance. The event is part of ‘The Child Artists of Carrolup Native Settlement: Tracing hidden artworks of a Stolen Generation’ exhibition on display at The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery Chapel until the 11 November 2022. Book Tickets

About the Artist

Jessie Lloyd is an Australian Aboriginal singer, social historian and cultural practitioner of Indigenous song. Jessie takes audiences on a profoundly-moving musical journey into the depth and diversity of Australia’s cultural identity.

Jessie Lloyd’s profoundly moving Mission Songs Project reveals the daily life of Aboriginal people on the missions, settlements and native reserves during the colonisation of Australia. A musical time travel of original compositions from the residents over the generations.

Starting in 2015, Mission Songs Project explores the human reality of the ‘missions era’, where Aboriginal people were forcibly removed from their homelands and moved onto missions. In a time of great distress, these truthful songs are surprisingly filled with optimism and hope, revealing a forgotten story on an unexplored corner of Australian history.

Mission Songs Project faithfully navigates the musical journey of Aboriginal music and connects the traditional with contemporary, revealing the continuation of cultural practice and song traditions into the 21st Century. This is a musical journey through time and place, this is our songlines.

Programme Partners

  • Border Crossings

    Border Crossings is an intercultural theatre company founded in 1995. Since 2007, Border Crossings has run the ORIGINS Festival, which is widely celebrated as the most culturally aware and ethically conscious platform for the presentation of Indigenous arts and culture in the UK. Previous Australian participants in the Festival have included: Heath Bergersen, Big hART, Jacob Boehme, Deborah Cheetham, Maree Clarke, Fiona Foley, Julie Gough, Ilbijerri, Karrabing Film Collective, Professor Marcia Langton, Marrugeku, Mau Power, David Milroy, Prof. Helen Milroy, Queensland Theatre / Grin and Tonic, Christian Thompson, Noel Tovey, Joshua Warrior, Yirra-Yaakin, Zugubal Dancers (Alick Tipoti).

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ORIGINS 2021–22 Festival is a less concentrated event, with an emphasis on sustained community engagement and intercultural dialogue.

    81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance

    A radical reclaiming of heritage: to imagine, experiment & create new futures. 81 Acts in 2021 – 40 years since 1981 Brixton Uprising.