A programme of art, culture and new infrastructure to reimagine the future of the UK’s biggest council housing estate


Shezad Dawood, Verity-Jane Keefe and Abbas Zahedi

Becontree Short Film Screening

The Sydney Russell School

15 August 2021

Create London will premier three exciting new film works that have been made to mark the centenary of the Becontree Estate. These will be screened in the Sydney Russell School‘s screening room from midday until 4pm, next Sunday 15 August.

Shezad Dawood, Visions of Paradise (2021)

This new work illuminates its surroundings through a digital animation, hosted in a sculptural display that borrows its form from ancient Neolithic standing stones, connecting a pre-industrial past with Becontree’s present-day sense of place.

Verity-Jane Keefe, Banjo on the Banjo (2021)

Banjo on the Banjo was a musical performance located in various banjos across the Becontree Estate culminating in Parsloes Park in August 2019 as part of Living Together. Twenty-one people learned to play the banjo with musician and teacher Ed Hicks and were then joined by a group of more experienced players to perform a new piece of music that responded to the banjos of Becontree and the estate itself. This new film shares the process and performance.

Abbas Zahedi, Raised Voices & Michalis, We Don’t Know Where We Are In The Drama (2021)

Abbas Zahedi worked with Arc Theatre’s young women’s group, Raised Voices to develop an on-going dialogue around the Dagenham idol that interconnects with the young women’s own lived experiences on the estate. The resulting conversations, recollections, anecdotes and statements act as contemporary myths and symbolically continue the story of the idol.

Alongside these works, Create will also be screening Larry Achiampong’s The Expulsion (2019). The Expulsion is a deeply personal work crafted from the imagination of the artist. The film highlights the rich interior world of an unnamed migrant with references to themes of race, class and gender. Achiampong, who spent time living in Dagenham, is producing a new sound work this autumn as part of our Becontree Centenary programming.

To find out more please click here.

The Sydney Russell School
Secondary Campus
Parsloes Ave
Dagenham RM9 5QT

Open in Maps

Shezad Dawood works across the disciplines of painting, film, neon, sculpture, performance, virtual reality and other digital media to ask key questions of narrative, history and embodiment. Using the editing process as a method to explore both meanings and forms, his practice often involves collaboration and knowledge exchange, mapping across multiple audiences and communities. Through a fascination with the esoteric, otherness, the environment and architectures both material and virtual, Dawood interweaves stories, realities and symbolism to create richly layered artworks.

Verity-Jane Keefe is a visual artist working predominantly in the public realm to explore the complex relationship between people and place. She works with moving image, text, installation and uses archival and research methodologies. She is interested in the role of the artist within urban regeneration and how experiential practice can touch upon and raise ambitions of existing communities. Verity-Jane has been working in Barking and Dagenham for over 10 years on self-initiated commissions, including The Mobile Museum, and in partnership with the borough’s Heritage, Planning Policy and Regeneration departments.

Abbas produces layered interactive installations serving as emotional interventions that are elegiac and symbolic whilst also rooted in the real world. Abbas composes his installations with a sensitivity to architecture and space that he further emphasises through the arrangement of deliberate bodily encounters, a process also designed to give agency to the human experience and is seen by the artist as a form of hosting and care.