Peace festival promotes positivity in south London

One year on from the London riots, the Little Big Peace event aims to turn Streatham into a pinnacle of peace and positivity

The south London district of Streatham will be awash with goodwill and tranquillity this September as the Little Big Peace event returns to the area.

To coincide with the International Day of Peace on 21 September, a week-long programme of events will take place throughout the district from 16-23 September, including live music, film, talks and art.

A host of well-known peace advocates will be putting in appearances too, including International Day of Peace creator Jeremy Gilley, and Dan Thompson, the man pivotal to last year’s grassroots riot clean up.

After a children’s lantern-making workshop on Sunday 16 September, the festival will officially open on Monday 17 September at Streatham Odeon, where actor and local resident Art Malik will introduce the opening film, The Day After Peace. This is a specially-commissioned film featuring Jude Law and Angelina Jolie, which charts Jeremy Gilley’s extraordinary journey to establishing a day of global ceasefire.

Tuesday features a workshop on ‘How to change the world’, presented by journalist and writer John-Paul Flintoff. John-Paul will be joined by Dan Thompson, who will talk about the newly-launched #WeWillGather, a Twitter community designed to bring passionate people together to instigate positive change in local communities.

On Wednesday 19 September, local schoolchildren will perform at St Leonard’s Church, followed later in the evening by London Bulgarian Choir and St Leonard’s Church Choir.

Children will be the focus of proceedings on Thursday too, when an inspirational panel of speakers take to Streatham Library to discuss how the community can support and inspire young people to be positive forces in their local communities.

On Friday, peace gets a little louder as a fantastic line-up of singers and performers take to the stage at The White Lion Bar, where a feast will be on offer from the Pop Up for Peace restaurant. Partygoers can relax and recuperate on Saturday, when Gracefield Garden’s Health Centre is transformed into a tranquil haven with free holistic treatment tasters and mind and body workshops.

The festival winds down on Sunday 23 September with a night of inspiration, music and film at Hideaway, featuring spoken word artists, the Great Gustos choir and cellist Shirley Smart.

Festival founder Mel Larsen said: “Peace starts with individual communities and we want Streatham to be a town known for its peace and positivity. We’re delighted that the people of Streatham have really got behind the festival and we can’t wait to welcome everyone to our events in September.”