TESTIMONIES London

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Testimonies is a community art venture created by Lorenzo Belenguer in response to London residents looking to have a more active role in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Spanish Artist’s Groundbreaking Olympic Testament Will “Fill London’s Streets”

An Olympic art installation that gives a voice to Londoners will be broadcast in major public spaces through London 2012, thanks to the support of the BBC and the General London Authority (GLA).

High resolution images can be downloaded are available online:
flickr.com/photos/londonerstestimonies/sets/

TESTIMONES was created by the Valencian artist Lorenzo Belenguer in response to his local community wanting to become more involved in this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. Selected by the Olympic Committee as a top 10 project from hundreds of others, it has been adopted as one of the Cultural Olympiad’s key cultural projects and is now being produced in collaboration with two of London’s major institutions: the BBC and the GLA.

This project takes raw interviews and testimonies from those who were part of the 1948 Games and are part of this year’s Games, and shares these experiences in short videos. These videos will be, or have already been, broadcast in locations include the new University of the Arts at King's Cross, Victoria Park, various locations in the City of London and Greenwich Park.

Munira Mirza, Advisor on Culture and Youth to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said: ‘We want as many Londoners as possible getting involved in the 2012 Games, being inspired by both the sporting action and the wide-ranging programme being planned as part of the Cultural Olympiad. TESTIMONIES is a wonderful project, connecting local people to one of the most exciting years in London’s history and creating a fascinating record for long after the athletes have run and the medals have been won.’

Belenguer, who is also director of exhibitions at the Gallery Willesden Green BAR and has had his work exposed at the Tate Modern, explains that “this project’s driving aim is to connect local people with one of the most exciting years in the history of London and create a dynamic conversation around the Games. The main question for us is: What kind of relationship do Londoners have with the Olympics? And we want this conversation to fill London’s streets.”

Jonathan Edwards, Deputy Chair of the London 2012 Nations and Regions group said: ‘The Inspire programme is an Olympic and Paralympic first and projects like TESTIMONIES will go down in the history books as one of the fantastic projects that used the power of the 2012 Games to inspire a generation.’

TESTIMONES will be also be found in Waltham Forest, Willesden Green, Potters Bar, the Polish Cultural Centre and in central Soho, amongst other locations. It has also created a diverse web presence and everybody is welcome to make contributions via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo.

Written by

Tobias Chapple
tobias.chapple@gmail.com

--- NOTES TO EDITORS ---

High resolution images can be downloaded are available online:
flickr.com/photos/londonerstestimonies/sets/

For more information and listen to stories, please visit the website:
LondonersTestimonies.com

If you need more information, please contact Lorenzo Belenguer on:
lorenzo.belenguer@gmail.com

Facebook:
facebook.com/TESTIMONIESLondon

Twitter:
twitter.com/testimoniesldn

Vimeo:
vimeo.com/londonerstestimonies/

About the Inspire programme: The Inspire programme has been running since 2008 and officially recognises and rewards exceptional, non-commercial projects inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. These projects are awarded the Inspire mark and are allowed to claim an official link to the Games in a way that no previous Olympic or Paralympic Games have made possible. Inspire brings the benefits of the Games to all nations and regions of the UK, driving change and giving millions the opportunity to feel part of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

TESTIMONIES is a £65,000 project with a £30,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and is supported by Brent Artists' Resource. A Make your own Testimony kit has been provided to local councils and community groups and can be downloaded from the website. We are very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for their constant support to this project. It would not have been possible without it.

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to
take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to
archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our
diverse heritage. HLF has supported 30,000 projects, allocating £4.6billion across the
UK, including £868million in London alone.

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