A film centred on the Battle of Lewisham and the effect that this memorable event had on the fight towards racial equality in Britain.
On 13th August 1977, the National Front attempted to march from New Cross to Lewisham to demonstrate their racist agenda. However, the local community had other ideas. The events that then unfolded would later become known as the Battle of Lewisham. A symbol of solidarity in the face of fascism and racism.
The film combines traditional documentary practice along with performative and poetic elements. This includes a series of genuine accounts from members of the local community, recanting the Battle of Lewisham from their perspective. A common feature of the film is the relationship between the past and present; this is shown by the use of archive materials alongside images of the current day. Throughout the film there are constant symbolic references to multiculturalism through the use of yam sculptures. Yam is an Afro-Caribbean staple food that has migrated into Britian. The sculptures ironically mimic the large Union Jack flags that the National Front (NF) carried and celebrates the UK’s diverse cultural sphere.
The film serves two purposes; providing a consistent account of the events that unfolded on that day and to celebrate a part of history that has often been forgotten. The film will help raise awareness and stress the importance of remembering the heritage of a community.
‘I think the film is particularly poignant as we are in a time, socially and politically where racial tensions in Britain are said to be on the rise again as a result of the likes of UKIP and Brexit. The film has social activist intentions, which look at exploring the racism and discrimination that targeted the Black community in Lewisham during the 60’s and 70’s. Drawing comparison between theses accounts and events in todays society‘. – Nacheal Catnott, Director