Hackney’s longest running culture and arts festival celebrates its 28th year

Hackney’s longest running culture and arts festival celebrates its 28th year

Day-Mer's culture and arts festival celebrated its 28th year this Sunday in Clissold Park, Stoke Newington.

Ceren SAGIR
London

Hackney’s longest running culture and arts festival organised by Day-Mer, a Turkish and Kurdish NGO, celebrated its 28th year this Sunday in Clissold Park, Stoke Newington.

The free park festival, which was attended by more than 10,000 people, month-long happens annually on the first Sunday of July and month-long series of exhibitions, panels, children’s and young people’s events, gigs and film screenings. 

Award winning local folk band Don Kipper took to the stage alongside many other performers from Turkey and Europe as well as folk dancing groups of all ages from North East London. 

Representatives of many unions, political parties and organisations spoke at the event including Mayor of Hackney Philip Granville, RMT assistant general secretary Steve Hedley, John Rees of Stop the War Coalition and the Labour Party of Turkey (EMEP) member Mustafa Yalçıner. 

NUT leader Louise Regan focused on the education cuts in her speech calling families and young people to take a stand for free education. 

Jeremy Corbyn, who attends every year and was scheduled to speak once again, could not make it due to a family commitment. 

The organisers dedicated this year’s festival to the 35 people killed in a fire by an illiberal mob in Sivas, Turkey on the same day of 1993 and the Grenfell Tower disaster victims. The theme also revolved around raising awareness for autism as free t-shirts were given out with the slogan: “We are aware of autism and we stand with them” in both Turkish and English. 

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