The A-Z of London's Future
As we near the end of 2021, we pay homage to the people and places that used culture as a means to lift the spirits of a bruised city. This is our A to Z of London in partnership with Nike, a cultural mosaic made up of twenty six change-makers spanning across the capital who are rewriting London’s future and building a better tomorrow.
Creativity is stitched into the fabric of London, it charges through the city leaving a whirlwind of collectives, communities, spaces, and movements in its wake. Hailing from vastly different backgrounds with their own stories to tell, every one of our visionaries and institutions share the same passion for driving positive change. This is a celebration of diversity, and the creativity that emerges from it. From frisky, friendly and fun queer clubs nights to black-owned book clubs, non-binary sports teams to south-of-the-river sound-systems, we explore the grassroots organisations that are reshaping youth culture.
Built with purpose, innovation and awareness of their environment, Nike Tech Pack is an ode to change-makers in this great city and beyond.
London’s coolest queer club night club. What started off as an occasional rave has turned into a monthly essential for everyone from the LGBTQ+ community. Adonis is hedonistic and chaotic but within that, there is a powerful sense of togetherness and strength. Striving to push the limits of what a London queer party looks like, it's as real and raw as London gets.
Brixton Soup Kitchen
Feeding the souls' of Brixton and Beyond. Founder Solomon Smith has been on a mission to give back and support his community, setting up Brixton Soup Kitchen which has now become an essential form of aid that encompasses the spirit of the area.
Carney’s Community Centre
Carney's is a true community space done the way they should be - providing long term, consistent, unconditional support with empathy, in the same way any good parent would with their child. Through boxing, mentoring, youth work etc, Carney's Community Centre help shape the future of countless young people (with a focus on those from disadvantaged backgrounds) to recognise their strengths, become the best they can be and an essential ingredient to build a better London.
Dusty Knuckle does more for the community than just supply the best bread. Co-founder Tobias used his experience working with young offenders to use the Bakery as an opportunity to train young offenders into responsible professionals and provide meaningful employment so they could begin to build more fulfilling futures for themselves.
“If you really want to turn around somebody’s life and give them a meaningful new trajectory you’ll need to be given a hell of a lot more than an hour a week.”
Ebony’s Horse Club
The horse club offering an alternative for young Londoners. Set to the backdrop of inner city Brixton, Ebony Horse Club provides horse riding, horse care sessions and youth work support to around 150 young people each week. They learn to push themselves and overcome challenges in their riding but also make friends, have new experiences and have a safe place to belong. Beyond democratising horse riding – usually a middle class sport inaccessible to those living in the inner city – the stable helps kids kick-start their careers in the animal industry – as riders, stable-workers or vets.
"Work like ours is so important in a city that can prove hard to grow up in and is increasingly unequal.”
Football Beyond Borders
Using the power of Football to bridge borders. FBB uses football as an entry point to engage young people that are disengaged with school but love the sport to provide the necessary structure and support to help them make a successful transition into adulthood. "We firmly believe that when talented and passionate young people are given the tools and networks to successfully transition into adulthood, they have the potential to become powerful leaders across our creative industries and wider society. We need to invest in them."
A community farm that teaches from the ground up. We Are Grow is an agroecological farm and outdoor learning hub, creating a viable model of how schools and farms can work together to embed food education, sustainability, and well-being into everyday learning.
Hélène Selam Kleih
A personal mission to fight the stigmas surrounding male mental health. After her brother was sectioned, Helene Selam Kleih decided to kickstart a conversation about men and mental health. Setting up platform and publication Him + His as a creative anthology and community exploring what identity means to the male. They are now launching a therapy network for young black men aged 15-30 years old in the boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Hackney.
Platforming underrepresented creatives across the city. Founder of Guap, Ibrahim Kamara uses the publication to highlight and invest in London's emerging creatives.
A household name in the UK bikelife community and beyond. Jake 100 has inspired the next generation of kids to take to the streets and tackle injustices in their city. He wanted to create a community for underprivileged kids to not only develop their bike skills but remove them from negative influences.
"Growing up, if you loved riding a bike and pulling a wheelie, there was nothing. I was focused on doing something that didn’t exist.”
The first jockey in Britain to race while wearing a hijab. Khadijah is now also the first Muslim Jockey to win a championship and is on a mission to change the narrative of the sport. Through her work she wants to inspire those that racing doesn't normally reach to get involved.
Nigerian Born, London Based artist reminds marginalised to keep their spirit strong among day to day struggles. Loshh's first EP ÍFARADÁ is a message of determination to those hit hardest by the pandemic created at a time when they needed it most.
A Turkish restaurant thats an ode to London. Set among the line of Turkish grill houses in Dalston, the founders of Mangal 2, Ferhat and Sertaç decided to do theirs differently. Its pays homeage to their and the restaurants Turkish roots while bringing innovative techniques which ties in both their heritage and culture as Londoners born and raised.
Black Britain's New Radio Station. No Signal was born during the peak of the pandemic at a time when marginalised communities were hit worst. With a program of entertaining shows and music from across the African diaspora they formed a space of connection and relief. Brothers and founders David and Jojo now use the station to invest, platform and celebrate emerging talent.
Otamere is foremost a writer, but like most creatives in the city he is a true polymath. His work straddles the fields of fashion, pop culture, queerness, race, and art but all with mission of progressing the conversation around queer and black culture.
A space for black storytelling. Prim Black is a book club and initiative that gives a platform to writers, artists and creators of Black ancestry with an aim to continue archiving their contributions to literature, art, culture, fashion, music and more. It’s also about connecting queer and Black communities around the world.
"It's literally a library of Black storytelling, with more than just books. Prim is saying 'our existence is not optional, it’s essential'.”
Queens of Peckham
A queer basketball team demanding space in sports. Queens of Peckham is a basketball team and community for trans, non binary people and women to take up space in an otherwise exclusionary arena. Trans and non binary people can often be shut out of sport or forced into boxes they don’t fit in to be included.
"No matter your ability everyone’s welcome at Queens. It’s 100% vibes 100% of the time. A It was crucial to queens to be a part of challenging this to make fitness and community health more accessible for our queer family.”
Using her platform to uplift others. Apple Music host Rebecca Judd has spent her career highlighting and platforming emerging artists. From humble beginnings interviewing and commentating on local stations, with local faces Rebecca is immersed within London youth culture and a true a connector of all connections.
Brixton’s oldest record shop. Opened in 1983 – Supertone is also one of the world’s foremost reggae record traders. Owned by Wally Bryant, who has run sound systems since the 1960s, Supertone stands as a proud emblem of Brixton as the cultural heart of Black Britain.
Celebrating global cultures that drive London's scene. Tommy is an artist, DJ and member of Bone Soda whose work is centred around spotlighting global sounds and scenes.
“Londoners naturally have an open mind to new ideas. For me, this makes London the best city to create in.”
Ultra Black Running
Changing the trail running narrative. Ultra Black Running was created in response to the lack of representation of Black women and Non Binary people. Dora the founder created the space to champion and celebrate Black Women and Non Binary people in the world of trail running, and exploring the beautiful nature the world has to offer.
Friday Lates celebrates all aspects of contemporary visual culture and design in the London, brought to life through leading and emerging artists and designers through live performance, film, installation, debate, DJs and more.
Steeped in history. Located in the heart of Brixton, Windrush Square was was renamed to recognise the important contribution of the African Caribbean community to the area. It is now home to the Black British archives and has become a community hub in the area. If anything happens in Brixton it happens in the square.
Bringing authentic Chinese and Sichuan food to London. Xi'an Impression is a neighbourhood restaurant directly opposite the Arsenal stadium that has reached legendary status in the city. The secret to their success- the team have a commitment to showcasing authentic and traditional food from Xi'an.
As a core crew member of the leading Asian underground crew Daytimers, Yung Singh at the forefront of a thriving new scene for the South Asian Diaspora - raising awareness of this grassroots community and its history within British dance music.
Zeret Kitchen is a family run Ethiopian restaurant on the corner of an estate in Camberwell. Tafes has a commitment to bringing Ethiopian flavours to the UK and educating consumers on how to cook and enjoy East African flavours at home.