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9th June 2022
Special Preview: 'The Conversation Continues: We Are Still Listening'
Date and Time
9th June 2022
Highgate Cemetery Swain's Lane, London, N6 6PJ
We invite you to join us for a special preview of Trevor Mathison’s newly commissioned artwork‘The Conversation Continues: We Are Still Listening’. The audio-based piece is an immersive soundscape which explores the legacy of Stuart Hall (1932-2014) and the radical thinkers laid to rest at Highgate Cemetery.
The preview will be accompanied by a live conversation between commissioned artist Trevor Mathison and Aasiya Lodhi, former BBC radio producer and Senior Lecturer at University of Westminster. Aasiya Lodhi’s research explores race, coloniality and voice in mid-twentieth century BBC radio programming, especially in relation to Caribbean writers. Aasiya and Trevor will discuss some of the inspirations behind the commission, the legacies of the thinkers resting in the cemetery, and sonic engagements with Stuart Hall’s ideas. The event also includes a live reading from Hall’s posthumous memoir ‘Familiar Stranger’, performed by actor Joseph Black. See speaker bios below.
Attendees will be the first to experience Trevor Mathison’s latest work, intended for listening whilst wandering through the Highgate Cemetery grounds.
17:30 Doors open, with access to East and West side of Highgate Cemetery Drinks available on arrival Video accompaniment available for online attendees (online attendees: links to the discussion on Zoom as well as the video accompaniment will be sent vial email at around 5pm)
19:00 Introduction from Becky Hall (Stuart Hall Foundation) and Ian Dungavell (The Friends of Highgate Cemetery) Discussion and audience Q&A with Trevor Mathison and Aasiya Lodhi Live reading from ‘Familiar Stranger’, performed by Joseph Black
20:00 Event concludes
Physical event access
Access to the East and West side of Highgate Cemetery is included in the ticket.
Sanitised, pre-loaded audio players and headphones will be available to listen to the soundscape.
Visitors to the West cemetery should be aware that the paths are steep, and parts may include flights of stairs. The East cemetery, where Stuart Hall is buried, is on a gentler slope with no steps and predominantly tarmac paths and is more easily wheelchair accessible. A small amount of disabled parking is available outside the cemetery’s entrance on Swain’s Lane. There is a disabled toilet in the West Cemetery. For further information, please contact the Highgate Cemetery office in advance of your visit.
This is a physical event taking place at Highgate Cemetery. For those unable to attend in person, the conversation between Aasiya and Trevor, and Joseph Black’s performance will be live-streamed online via Zoom, with a chance to submit questions for the Q&A. If you would like to attend the discussion virtually, please ensure you register for the event by clicking the ‘Book Now’ button above, and selecting an online-only ticket.
All registered attendees will receive a link to watch Trevor Mathison’s video accompaniment to the 40-minute soundscape. The link will be available from 5.30pm on Thursday 9th June until midnight Friday 10th June. This is an exclusive preview – the video will be released to a wider audience on Monday 20th June.
Commissioned by Stuart Hall Foundation in partnership with Highgate Cemetery and LUX. Supported by Arts Council England.
Top image: Courtesy of Trevor Mathison
Trevor Mathison is an artist, composer, sound designer and recordist. His sonic practice, centered on creating fractured, haunting aural landscapes and integrating existing music, has featured in over thirty award-winning films. Mathison was a founding member of the cine-cultural artist collective, The Black Audio Film Collective (BAFC,1982-1998), where his body of sonic designs defined and situated for the Collective’s film and gallery installations, including Signs of Empire, Handsworth Songs and The Last Angel of History. Mathison has continued to work with some of his former collaborators from Black Audio (John Akomfrah, Lina Gopaul and David Lawson) creating sound design for installations and feature documentaries, including Mnemosyne and The Unfinished Conversation. His latest compositional score features in John Akomfrah’s and Dredd Scotts’ Slave Rebellion Re-enactment 2019 and Garret Bradley’s award-winning feature America 2019. Mathison has also founded and been active in a number of other experimental sonic groups – Dubmorphology, Hallucinator and Flow Motion. He has also been a pioneer of sound installation work. His most recent sound performance took place at CAPC in Bordeaux in 2020 where he was commissioned to make a sonic response to Lubaina Himid’s installation Naming the Money.
Aasiya is a Senior Lecturer in Media at the University of Westminster and a former BBC radio producer. Her research explores race, coloniality and voice in mid-twentieth century BBC radio programming, especially in relation to Caribbean writers including George Lamming and Stuart Hall. Aasiya is also a recipient of Arts and Humanities Research Council funding marking the BBC’s centenary in 2022, aimed at deepening public understanding of black British women’s history through the use broadcast archives.
After 10 productions with the National Youth Theatre, including “Living The Dream” for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai as Oberon, Joseph Black graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2014. Since then, his theatre credits include: Tunde in “Sessions” UK Tour & Soho Theatre (nominated for Lead Performance at the Offies), Ray in “The Coloured Valentino” (Arcola Theatre), Clay in “The Dutchman”, Duke Orsino in “Twelfth Night” and Claudio in “Much Ado” with GB Theatre Company, William the Troll, Bombur and The Great Goblin King in the Duke Theatre’s award-winning park show, “The Hobbit” (UK Theatre Award – Best Show for Children and Young People, Northern Soul – Best Theatre Production), Stanley in “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Rapture Theatre Company, Baloo / The Monkey King and Rann in Greenwich Theatre’s “Jungle Book”, The Beast in “Beauty and The Beast” at Salisbury Playhouse, Cleomenes in Cheek By Jowl’s “Winter’s Tale”, Orange Tree Theatre’s “Romeo and Juliet” as Lord Capulet, Friar Laurence and Prince and a European tour of “Othello” as the titular character with TNT.