As I live and breathed – South London News

Musicians, community groups, athletes and activists from Lambeth and Southwark have joined forces to host a free one-day event to campaign against air pollution. Live + Breathe 2022 takes place tomorrow at Southwark Park from noon to 6pm and will be hosted by musician and activist Love Ssega, a founding member of the band Clean Bandit.

The event aims to raise awareness that black, Asian and other ethnicities are excessively affected by air pollution and are passionate about campaigning against climate issues.

It is hoped the day will encourage more young people to share their concerns and fears around air pollution. Campaigners say air pollution in London is often higher than the World Health Organisation’s recommended limits and that Lambeth and Southwark have some of the worst levels in the city.

They also point to research by the British Lung Foundation, which estimates that 36,000 people die each year due to air pollution in the UK. The long-term effects of living with air pollution can cause damage to organs and lead to asthma and other long-term health conditions. Live + Breathe 2022 is a celebration of South London’s music community and culture, and will offer residents the opportunity to get involved in free arts and culture workshops, take part in a football tournament and listen to poetry by writers fuelled by their campaign for clean air.

The South London groups involved include Peckham BMX Club, Poetic Unity, Peace Ballers, Neon Elevate, Art 4 Space and CeCeRollerskates.

There will also be performances by ITV’s Peckham’s Finest star DJ Mark Ashley-Dupé, Born N Bread, Rebel Clash and Shumba Youth. Love Ssega is a South London resident, who wants people to come and show their support.

He said: “Live + Breathe 2022 is all about showing power brokers that black people within Lambeth and Southwark care about climate issues. “Not only that, the communities and groups involved here have come together to use art and culture to highlight an issue such as air pollution, which is shown to affect people of colour the most.

“People in the two areas would rather be doing sport, meeting friends or training to be future Olympians, but if the air pollution levels are too high, then they are going to come together and make noise about it until the Government acts to change it.”

Michael Pusey, founder of Peckham’s BMX Club, where Olympic silver medallist Kye Whyte learned to ride, said: “We have some of the best athletes in the world and our members will be a lot happier with clean air in and around the BMX Track.

“We breathe in very hard air if we’re training, and clean air is going to give us the best performance for us to meet the Olympic team.” Visit for more information about the event, the line-up and the campaign.


Top picture: From left, Ryan J. Matthews-Robinson, also known as Ragz-CV, Jayda David (@98jayda), Kwame Reed (@mr_reed3), Aicha Therese (@aichatherese) and Love Ssega Picture: Lou Jasmine

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