This year four amazing highlight events commemorate the river as the vital cultural centre of the city. The Ship of Tolerance, by renowned artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, brings together the works of 1000 children in the sails of a stunning ship installation, celebrating unity and diversity in the heart of London. Digging deep into the banks of the Thames and the history it holds, Foragers of the Foreshore is the most significant exploration of mudlarking ever held. The Barking Stink is an exhibition diving nose-first into the infamous odours that used to emanate from Barking Creek due to its rich industrial heritage. Tideway’s trailblazing Regatta London is coming to London at the end of September, an exciting mass participation event fundraising for local and national environmental causes as boaters of all kinds gather to race.
Our flagship international education programme Rivers of the World will take centre stage on opposite ends of the river, with an outdoor exhibition of this year's artwork outside The Crystal in The Royal Docks, plus a retrospective exhibition at Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford. For more international artwork created by children, head to Oxo Tower Wharf for the introduction of My Story of Water, an impactful new exhibition of jerry cans painted by children from Lagos, highlighting the importance of water itself.
For you experience seekers out there, we also have a range of intriguing and exhilarating performances and installations in unique locations which you won't forget in a hurry. Brush up your tango skills on the paddle steamer Dixie Queen with the Mid-River Milonga and dance the night away under the stars. The Bascule Chamber Concerts return for the fifth year to fill the cavernous space beneath Tower Bridge with subterranean sounds. Thank You For Having Us is an adrenaline-filled performance challenging audiences to think about the impact of plastics on our natural environment, and Giles Walker’s Monster asks if the Thames could disappear under the weight of the capitalist machine. And, if you missed it last year, Izzy Inkpen is back with Run Softly this time with more performers, taking you on a literary promenade along the Thames
Regatta London isn't the only event filling the Thames with boats during the festival! Taking over the Thames this September are a number of races, regattas and chances to see the river awash with beautiful boats and barges. From The Great River Race which will see 330 crews race 21.6 miles from Millwall to Ham, to the 305th Race for Doggett’s Coat and Badge, the oldest boat race in the world fiercely competed by newly apprenticed watermen, and the Lord Mayor’s River Progress which will see The Lord Mayor and Sheriffs progress from Lambeth to City of London on the Gloriana, escorted by a fleet of craft from the City Liveries and other river organisations.
Championing the heritage of the river as the vital centre of London’s history, its diverse culture and its connection to the rest of the world, Totally Thames 2019 is jam-packed events for everyone to enjoy this September. Check out our full programme below.
Read, Watch & Listen
Rivers of the World in Tanzania!
Rivers of the World in Tanzania! We exist in the physical world and in bytes!