Matana Roberts, known for her exploration of African American history through her COIN COIN series of records, is a new arrival in London.
The city has always been a place of coming and going, just as its largest forest had, with ancient trackways running through the Iron Age forts at its heart.
In a special commission for The Peoples Forest, Roberts delves into the rich history of Epping Forest and connects it to the work of writer Ursula K Le Guin. Born 90 years ago this autumn, Le Guin’s stories The Word For World Is Forest and Vaster Than Empires Yet More Slow were profound meditations on colonialism, travel, belonging, and the human intersection with the natural world.
The commissioned musical performance will take place in the ancient St Mary’s Church Walthamstow, which was once surrounded by the trees of Epping Forest.
Matana Roberts is part of The People's Forest season - a series of events exploring our relationship with Epping Forest, interrogating the deep bond we have with forests and woodland, and how this relationship is culturally determined.