Seven must-see events at Totally Thames 2018

We highlight seven events taking place during Totally Thames 2018 that are definitely should not be missed.

An annual celebration of London’s River Thames, Totally Thames offers a creative and diverse programme of inspiring events, curated and managed by the Thames Festival Trust. A plethora of arts and culture events will be held throughout September, with the activities taking place on, beneath or alongside the River Thames.

Totally Thames was launched in 2014, following the idea to expand and replace the two-day Thames Festival, which ran from 1997 – 2013 along the South Bank and Bankside. Each year, Thames Festival Trust commissions and supports artists from across the disciplines to create new work that shines a spotlight on the River Thames and its rich heritage.

Running from the 1 – 30th September, the Totally Thames celebrations are already in full swing, with events taking place every day. With this in mind, we decided to share some of our own Totally Thames 2018 highlights – events that, for Londoners and visitors alike, are certainly not to be missed:

The World’s Oldest Boat Race

Saturday 18th - Sunday 30th September.
Various locations.

Believed to be the oldest continually competed sporting event in the world, the Race for Doggett’s Coat and Badge has been zealously rowed by apprentice river workers on the Thames since 1715. However, despite its fascinating history, little of the race is documented and it has been overshadowed by the renowned Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race.

Image: Hydar Dewach

This year, Totally Thames will be sharing the history of this extraordinary race, delving into the traditions passed down through generations of Thames watermen with a range of outdoor exhibitions. 100 years of archive material are being made publicly accessible as part of the exhibition; it will also feature recorded oral histories and photographic portraits by Hydar Dewachi, bringing to life to this hidden history at the heart of London.

Rivers of the World

Wednesday 19th - Saturday 29th September, 12.30pm - 5.30pm. Friday 28th, open until 7.30pm.
Boathouse Creative Studios, Malthouse, 62 - 76 Abby Road, IG11 7BT

Created by Thames Festival Trust in partnership with the British Council, Rivers of the World is an international art and education project helping pupils learn about environmental, economic and cultural themes through their local rivers. The project includes an exhibition of river-inspired artwork created by young people around the world; working in collaboration with professional artists, the students' artworks explore and express what rivers mean to communities today.

Aiming to inspire young people about rivers through art and creativity, Rivers of the World has worked with 30,000 12-14 year olds across the UK and in 30 countries across the world; this year, the scheme has worked with young people from Kenya, Malawi and Palestine in year one of the project; and from Nepal, Nigeria and Sierra Leone in year two. This year, the exhibition will tour across three new areas in England - Barking & Dagenham, Exeter and Worcestershire - after showcasing at Totally Thames.

Connecting London

Tuesday 4th - Sunday 30th September.
London Bridge Railway Station, Tooley Street entrance, SE1 3QX

Looking at the way London’s bridges are vital to the movement and flow of the city, Connecting London is a free exhibition that asks visitors to think about these monolithic structures. The exhibition explores the way that London’s many diverse and fascinating bridges stretch over the Thames and what this means for our day-to-day lives.

Image: Henry Reichhold

These bridges witness everything from the slow trickle of cars at dawn to the mad rush hour dash – but activity also hums beneath the bridges, from the blue and white clippers gliding silently along to pleasure boats, kayaks and cruise ships. Using a series of unique gigapixel, panoramic and hybrid night and day images, the Connecting London exhibition brings the bridges to life in a new and fascinating way.

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