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Creative Knowledge Project: Dunya Kalantery

Dunya Kalantery is artist-in-residence at Thamesmead's Lakeside Centre. Her residency is part of the Creative Knowledge Project, which looks to question what a library can be in the 21st century ahead of the new Thamesmead Library being built on Southmere Lake.

In response to the lockdown and as part of her residency, Dunya has just launched the new and exciting project Lockdown Diaries

The Lockdown Diaries is an invitation to take part in recording and sharing how we, as Londoners, experience Covid 19 – through writing, video, photos, sound recordings or drawings. They can be as simple, as serious, or as wild as you want them to be.

Daily prompts for diary contributions will be published on instagram, which you are invited to respond to. You can choose which prompts you respond to – we'd love to see daily contributions, but if you want to do your own thing on some days or only respond to a few prompts a week, thats fine. All ages are encouraged to join, and no previous experience or expertise is necessary! The last part is really important – smartphones mean we have amazing technology for documentation at our fingertips and we are all experts at using them in our own way. And unlike the history we learnt in school, in this historical moment we do have the power and technology to document our own history in the making.

Each prompt will be an invitation to write, video, photograph or record sounds and your voice in response. You can then send these in three ways:

Dropbox: Upload to Dropbox 

Email: send entries directly by email to

Padlet: Lockdown Diaries Padlet page. Padlet is a collaborative, content sharing website that anyone can add to, recording directly onto the page I set up. I will be posting daily prompts and receiving your prompts. You can get your own Padlet profile, or you can simply record your own contribution without a login.

Follow the Lockdown Diaries instagram or on facebook for more info and the latest prompts. 

Your contributions will be kept securely and presented anonymously if you wish. Entires may also eventually be made public through the Thamesmead community archive (with your consent). They may also be used towards an art work that will be presented in the Thamesmead Library but Dunya will contact you more about this at a later stage. All participants will be asked to fill in a GDPR form and supply a parent / guardian form for those under 16. All forms together with the project privacy notice can be found here:

Lockdown Diaries Privacy Notice

Lockdown Diaries GDPR Agreement Form

Lockdown Diaries Parent / Guardian Consent Form

Creative Knowledge Project Overview

Dunya’s work focuses on the library as a space for producing and protecting community knowledge. She will begin by researching methods of archiving communal struggles and joys, looking at how and what we learn as a community, and how to activate those archives to strengthen social bonds and reinforce community space.

Dunya invites local residents to collaborate with her by imagining how the library could be used to create and consolidate space for community relationships, thinking about how digital interventions can be used to create stronger links between individuals, community and knowledge.

  • Dunya will be running workshops in the current temporary Thamesmead library, exploring archives and storytelling, and thinking together about our relationship to our environment.
  • Dunya will be opening up her studio to co-create archival material of the present (zines, sound recordings and more).
  • Dunya will be creating a fortnightly radio show with contributions from local residents.
  • Dunya will be working with residents, local schools, families and community groups to co-create an artwork whose life will continue in the new Thamesmead library.

Check this page for coming events or email to find out more.

About Dunya

Dunya Kalantery is a first generation Londoner, based in London, with a background in community organising and a participatory art practice. She collaborates with communities and young people using a variety of practices – from film making to food growing – to engage with what she sees as the critical space between health, environment and community. Most recently, Dunya’s work has been driven by the concept of the body as an archive, informed by epigenetic research, which shows that through genetic expression, our bodies are archives of environmental, historical, and familial experience.

The Creative Knowledge Project is supported by Arts Council England, the London Borough of Bexley and Peabody Trust.