Lewisham resident Kae Tempest is officially backing the borough’s bid to be named Borough of Culture 2021. The poet, novelist and playwright grew up in Brockley and graduated from Goldsmiths, she believes that growing up in Lewisham has been fundamental to her artistic career.
“Lewisham has shaped me as an artist in immeasurable ways, I’ve spent my entire artistic life responding to things I have learnt from growing up in Lewisham, from living in and around the borough my whole life (…) There is something here that is special and I feel very proud and happy to have been happy to partake in it.” Brit and Mercury prize-nominated Kae has a busy schedule travelling and performing all around the world but is still proud to call the borough home.
‘For my work I travel a lot, I go all over the place and I feel extremely lucky because of that but it can make you feel disorientated, it can make you lose track of who you were before you became this person so coming home definitely connects me so fully to my life in the bigger picture, the reasons why I’m doing this job, what the objective was when I began and also it connects me to a sense of self and purpose that is not actually about my work but about who I am, where I’m from and what’s important.” Kae believes that the most exciting part about winning Borough of Culture would be the support that could be provided for younger artists and creatives. “Just having that injection of support and finance would mean so much to younger artists coming through now who need to access either some studio time or some rehearsal space and that would just create a whole new wave of creativity. I think Lewisham should be Borough of Culture because Lewisham is full of culture, the people here, the artists here are some of the best artists that I’ve ever met and they come from here. They come from Lewisham.”