Our World (Fight for Air) with Love Ssega
The 2021 local London elections provided an opportunity to make the conversation around pollution more accessible. The Our World (Fight for Air) campaign channels artistry through the platform of musician, Love Ssega, in order to bring together underrepresented voices of those impacted by air pollution in South London.
NO2 pollution in London is on average 24-31% higher in areas where people from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds are most likely to live.
In 2020 – for the first time ever – a coroner ruled that the death of nine-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah in 2013 was caused by toxic South Circular air pollution.
London’s local and mayoral elections on the 6 May 2021 presented a critical moment to bring air pollution into public awareness by making the issue more accessible and centering communities who are most impacted.
Purpose saw an opportunity to collaborate with Love Ssega on building a campaign around his commission engaging impacted communities in advocacy action.
Season for Change was a UK-wide cultural programme inspiring urgent and inclusive action on climate change from 2020 to 2021. Led by Artsadmin and Julie’s Bicycle, delivered in collaboration with arts partners nationwide and supported by Arts Council England and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, they commissioned musician Love Ssega to create a project that draws on the tragic effects of air pollution along the South Circular. It brings the neglected stories and voices of the Black community into public debate through the mediums of a new single, music video and comic.
Theory of Change
Purpose partnered with artist Love Ssega to create a multi-channel campaign that championed creativity and artistry in order to engage with and empower underrepresented voices in the discussion around climate change.
The campaign included a full music video, by filmmaker Tracy Kiryango, that centers communities of colour who live along the South Circular, and care about and are impacted by air pollution.
Billboards & Comic
Billboards featuring Love Ssega’s comic, advertising his single release and generating awareness around the local climate issue, were placed along South London’s busiest roads.
Added to Love Ssega’s existing website, lovessega.com, was a campaign landing page for Our World (Fight for Air.) The page acted as a digital hub for the public to download the comic, stream and share the single, and join the fight through other calls to action.
Love Ssega shared his campaign offline with young people in local schools that are based on heavily polluted roads, to share their feelings towards air pollution and motivate them with creative actions.
He also presented the campaign at the National Literacy Trust’s Festival of Science and Imagination, which was broadcasted to thousands of school children across the UK.
Our World (Fight for Air) garnered attention all throughout the local community- from social media engagements to London news and cultural outlets. The campaign was featured in media such as the Climate Control Projects podcast, HUNGER magazine, South London Press, the Evening Standard and the Lewisham Live Festival.
This campaign, with its local focus, also grabbed global attention. Love Ssega, and Our World (Fight for Air), were featured in a YouTube Originals series, Seat At The Table, hosted by YouTuber Jack Harries- with the episode reaching over 795,000 views. He also attended COP26, where he hosted Julie’s Bicycle’s “Culture: The Missing Link” session and presented the Our World (Fight for Air) music video.
Love Ssega won the Arts Foundation Prize in Music for Change in 2022- partly for the Our World (Fight for Air) campaign, as well as his other work in speaking up for social, educational and environmental issues through music. The Arts Foundation supports artists and creatives in the UK.
Through the intersection of art and social impact, Our World (Fight for Air) was able to target local residents in Lewisham, South London who are impacted by air pollution- and bring their voices into the climate conversation.
This emerging movement caught the attention of other organizations and initiatives in the city and joined forces with a larger network to bring more partners on board.
for Equity & Evidence