South East Cultural Assembly

22 Apr 2024

Regular hours

10:00 – 17:00

Free admission

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De La Warr Pavilion

Bexhill, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Direct trains from London Victoria, Brighton and Ashford to Bexhill
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From Eco-Anxiety to Action: How do we free ourselves to take action for climate justice? South East Cultural Assembly with Culture Declares Emergency is an opportunity to think about the futures we are creating.


Assemble at the De La Warr Pavilion for a day of collective enquiry where we’ll consider how to move beyond worry, overwhelm, guilt, stagnancy and other blocks to taking action. A cultural assembly offers an opportunity to explore pathways to action by nurturing enquiry, participation, community-building, radical care and collaboration. 

Centred around the magnificent auditorium, the assembly invites attendees to pause together and acknowledge agency. Throughout the assembly we will move around the Pavilion gathering creative inspiration from the site and hearing from inspirational guest speakers including Civic Square co-founder Imandeep Kaur, and community organiser and climate justice advocate Samia Dumbuya, who will guide our enquiry. The day is filled with provocations, time to reflect, teachings from the sea, making, sharing vegan food, ritual and networking. 

Cultural assemblies build on contemporary models of peoples’ assemblies, using creativity to encourage inclusive and imaginative approaches to problem-solving.

These times demand transformation, activating our collective creative force is crucial to generate ideas and break away from old narratives that restrict our ability to believe in alternative futures. This requires a commitment to inclusive and respectful approaches that allow all voices to be heard, and in particular, centering voices that are often marginalised. 

The cultural assembly calls cultural workers, artists and art lovers, activists, public authority workers, academics, health and youth workers or anyone else that chimes with the themes across the south east region to participate with courage. 

Please note there will be a closing drinks reception from 4-5pm.

The event is free to attend. To support access a travel bursary of £25 is available for low-income artists or anyone else requiring this. You will be asked to provide proof of public travel fare and be reimbursed on the day. We can offer 30 bursaries so please email amie@onca.org.uk ahead to request this. 

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Eco-anxiety can be described as emotional and psychological fear and overwhelming concern about the ongoing harm to the environment caused by human activities. Whilst it affects people of all ages, studies show a bigger impact on young people who are growing up facing an uncertain future. Research also shows that communities across the globe who are experiencing impact within their communities and to their livelihoods have higher rates of eco-anxiety.

Ahead of the cultural assembly we held a preliminary event online with guest speakers, artist Maggie Scott and academic Perpetua Kirby, who explore how we move beyond blocks to take action. Watch the video here.


Culture Declares Emergency is a growing movement of people in arts and culture declaring a climate and ecological emergency. They pledge to tell truths, take action and seek justice. Arts and culture can lead in creating a regenerative future that protects the planet and sustains everyone, everywhere.

CDE South East Coastal Hub launched in September 2021, initially reaching from Brighton to Hastings, but open to anyone who feels connected to the Sussex Coast—an area already well known for its engagement in both culture and the environment.

The De La Warr Pavilion (DLWP) is a pioneering centre for arts and culture in an iconic modernist building by the sea, designed by refugee Erich Mendelsohn and émigré Serge Chermayeff. It opened in 1935 as the ‘people’s palace’ and now produces an innovative and integrated cultural programme of exhibitions and learning programmes as well as a diverse and popular programme of live music and comedy. The Pavilion takes the lead in the development of cultural tourism and skills in the region and plays a central role in the cultural and economic growth in Sussex.

O N C A is a Brighton-based arts charity that bridges social and environmental justice issues with creativity. It promotes positive change by facilitating inclusive spaces for creative learning, artist support, story-sharing and community solidarity.

The University of Sussex is a leading higher education and research institution near Brighton. Sussex ranked 8th in the UK and joint 26th in the world for sustainability, having developed a reputation for innovation and inspiration, it attracts leading thinkers and researchers. It has a long tradition of engaging with business and the community, which continues today through activities such as the Sussex Innovation Centre, public lectures and services to the community.

This event has been generously funded by the University of Sussex Arts and Humanities Research Council Impact Acceleration Account and Culture Declares Emergency, with in-kind support from all partners.


The event is open to people aged 18+ and will be supported by BSL interpreters. There is space to let us know about any access requirements during the booking process. You can read about the De La Warr Pavilion accessibility here. If you need support with booking a ticket please email amie@onca.org.uk or call 01273 607101.


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