Skip to Main Content

Map with markers showing where CCC projects took place across the country. Tilting the mirror is in Peckham, London in the south east and highlighted with a pink marker.Tilting the Mirror is rooted in Peckham, which is a melting pot of cultures, languages, ideas, and religions in the heart of south-east London.

In recent years, the area has seen many changes and now the processes of regeneration and gentrification are rapidly transforming the area.  This has disproportionately impacted some communities, with many long-standing residents being excluded from decision-making in the area.

Tilting the Mirror is a Creative Civic Change project based in Peckham, south-east London.

About the project

Tilting the Mirror is an intergenerational placemaking project working with co-commissioned artists, local youth and elders to capture the heritage and perspectives of a rapidly changing Peckham.

By reclaiming community spaces through creative activities, the project puts residents in positions of leadership, platforming those who often struggle to be heard in the process of regeneration.

The programme is led by the Peckham Partnership and a working group. This is comprised of community leaders in Peckham who work on the front-line with residents at risk of marginalisation such as Golden Oldies, a community care group that brings together older persons of Afro-Caribbean heritage; Leaders of Tomorrow, a leadership programme for at risk and high potential black youth; and Peckham Platform, a cultural organisation with a civic duty and an established track-record of connecting local communities with exceptional artists and projects.

In addition to the founding partnership, the working group also includes the valuable contributions of Black Heroes Foundation and Peckham Park Baptist Church Youth Group.

What we need to make this place better is unity. I pray that people come and engage – [projects like this are] what we need to bring people together.”
Visitor to Small Island Vibes event

How creativity changed our community

Tilting the Mirror builds cross-cultural and cross-generational understanding through creative commissions and activities, platforming those who are less heard in the processes being experienced in the area.

Since 2019, our programme has worked with intergenerational groups to capture the heritage and histories of communities in the area. We have done this through creative activities that range in size from intimate workshops (like chocolate-making and trips to the theatre) to large-scale events in Peckham’s public square.

The back of a group performing to an audience

Stratford East Singers performing at Small Island Vibes on Peckham Square, Summer 2022. Image by Anselm Ebule.


In year one, Beverely Bennett’s project ‘Yuh Figet Yuhself’ focused on shared African and diasporic heritage and language as a space for connection, humour and generational tension.

In the second year, we paused to take stock of the COVID-19 pandemic and the reaction to the murder of George Floyd. While these were issues that affected many around the world, and the death of Floyd happened in America, the after effects of colonialism and systemic iniquity has been felt for generations in the UK.

A mural of a local London street

Community mural making with Nine O Arts, at Small Island Vibes on Peckham Square, Summer 2022. Image by Anselm Ebule.


During the pandemic, Tilting the Mirror meant that we were able to work with our partners to shift our work to meet the intensified needs of the most vulnerable in our community. This included raising an additional £50k in funds to meet practical needs such as providing 240 hot meals to 75 older people in Peckham, providing mobile data to those facing digital inequality, and access to counselling.

I’ve also learned to relieve the pressure for ‘productivity’ or a finished outcome. It’s all about time and pacing – we should try to be gentle with ourselves and our collaborators… my work comes alive through connection.”
Beverley, artist

Birungi’s story

Birungi Kawooya joined us in 2020 to lead a Mindful African Art Class. In these workshops she taught how to make simple but impactful collages with African print fabric. Like most artists, Birungi has had to balance the precarity of a career in the arts with her ambitions.

These sessions were well received and gave her confidence to focus on her practice. Birungi is now the recipient of a highly competitive DYCP grant. With this award, she will be able to take up an international residency and continue on her path as an artist.

In the foreground there is an older woman sitting in front of a patterned backdrop and in the background a stage has been setup

Portrait session with residents attending Small Island Vibes on Peckham Square, Summer 2022. Image by Nigel R Glasgow.


One of the ladies who attends Golden Oldies has been part of the project since the beginning. She really appreciates the social activities as they are a way for her to stay connected. When the sessions were paused due to Covid she felt a sense of loss and missed the groups a lot.

She has issues with her memory but also has a wealth of knowledge and experience of continuing her journey from the Caribbean to the UK and raising her family in south London. As a keen dancer she enjoys our cultural activities, has appeared in artworks and has brought her family into the project. This is a great example of the unexpected outcome of our project, addressing anti-loneliness and social development.

“Peckham Platform has been instrumental in my development as an artist, art tutor and cultural producer. During lockdown, I lost confidence in my artistic ability, felt overwhelmed and unable to transition my small workshop practice online. Peckham Platform commissioned me to deliver online Mindful African art workshops which created space for young creatives to express their identities using found materials.

The feedback was so positive that it encouraged me to keep creating spaces for wellness and connection and my online practice grew from there. I was fortunate enough to be invited to deliver an in-person workshop for Peckham Platform’s, The Message We Bring, the most joyous event of the year.

This helped me to develop as a community arts practitioner and produce events for Kauma Arts and Greenwich Dance. Peckham Platform’s support and endorsement motivated me to apply for my first ACE DYCP grant, which I am thrilled to have secured.”
Birungi, artist

A group standing in front of a patterned backdrop on the left, and another talking in front of a stage on the right

Portrait session with residents attending Small Island Vibes on Peckham Square, Summer 2022. Image by Nigel R Glasgow.

Looking to the future

The storytelling commission was spent on hiring portrait photographer Nigel Glasgow to create a mini photo studio in Peckham Square over Small Island Vibes, our summer event.

This programme has brought together intergenerational communities of African, Caribbean and Latin-x heritage in Peckham.

It has offered space for critical enquiry through performances and resident consultation accompanied by food, conversations and family activities.

These activities and partnerships are the basis for future heritage applications and the development of future archives including a specialist library and cultural hub centred around the needs of the community.

Hear more about the project’s approach