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This outdoor exhibition showcases the brilliant people of Woolwich

By Paula Akpan

It’s often overlooked, but Woolwich – a stretch of riverside already boasting a proud history and a tight community – will be stepping into the spotlight next year. The Royal Borough of Greenwich is set to open a new arts and culture hotspot called the Woolwich Creative District: a group of redeveloped historic buildings which will be home to groundbreakers such as the immersive theatre company Punchdrunk and Chi-chi Nwanoku’s Chineke! Orchestra, Europe’s first majority-BME classical ensemble.

Photograph: Dan Lowe for Royal Borough of Greenwich

The arts centre is due to open its doors in 2020, but until then the borough is celebrating SE18’s existing residents through a new portrait project. Nearly 60 photographs of Woolwich locals – including shopkeepers, community elders, schoolchildren and many others – can be found on the hoardings of the construction site, with QR codes linking to audio interviews with the subjects. As we wait to see how the Creative District shapes up, this project paints a picture of the Woolwich community before the artists arrive.

Photograph: Dan Lowe for Royal Borough of Greenwich

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