Ansar Ahmed Ullah :The East London Environment Network (ELEN), an umbrella body of environmental groups organised its first ever festival of world’s rivers and oceans, called Splash! on Saturday 15th of June 2019 at the London Enterprise Academy, Commercial Road, East London.
In the opening ceremony Hasneen Choudhury, ELEN Coordinator, Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs, Tower Hamlets Deputy Mayor Rachel Blake, Cllr David Edgar, Tower Hamlets Cabinet Member for Environment, Katy Clark, former Member of Environment Audit Committee, Prof Venu Dhopa, Community Links, GLA Member Unmesh Desai, Ashid Ai, London Enterprise Academy, Theo Thomas, London Waterkeeper, Redbridge Cllr Bert Jones, Murad Qureshi, former GLA Chair of Environment Committee and Redbridge teacher Sharmin Hoque addressed the festival.
Mayor John Biggs in his opening speech said, ‘Climate change is the biggest threat humanity has ever faced and therefore, it is great to know that ELEN, a network of diverse organisations, is working together to connect people to the natural world and protect it.’ He added, ‘This day-long event will help to increase awareness of environmental issues that affect our world; and what we can do as an individual as well as collectively to protect it, through fun and interactive methods such as workshops, children’s art competition and exhibition, stalls and entertainment.’
The East London Environment Network set up earlier this year is a collaboration of diverse organisations working to connect people to the natural world and protect it. The Splash Festival also worked with Tower Hamlets & Redbridge schools on an art project inspired by the title, ‘Water is Life. From our taps to the rivers and oceans, water is precious, how would I protect it?’and exhibited their work at the festival.
The day long event conducted by Krisztina Saroy & Charlie Satow included documentary film screenings, workshops including living plastic free, fossil free, creative activism, story telling by Darragh, nature meets waste by Linda Tai, environmental workshop by Kate Metcalf & Dr Bike, children art competition & exhibition, stalls and other entertainment throughout the day.
The event was opened by welcoming music from Louis Matin, dance performance by Udichi Shilpi Goshthi, music by Shompa Kundu, Tanim & Amit Dey. Poems were recited by Mark Coverdale, Katie Haworth, Marika Josef, Robin Lamboll and Alina.
ELEN Festival Coordinator, Dr. Hasneen Choudhurysaid, ‘The purpose of this fun filled day long event was to increase awareness of environmental issues and to encourage action to protect environment’.