Celebrating Community – Online Exhibition

This exhibition displays costumes and photographs from 'The Earth is a Beehive', the 2022 Deptford X Parade by Jelili Atiku. Jelili is a Nigerian artist and activist, who collaborated with local children to parade spectacularly around Deptford and celebrate being together.

1 – 6. Parade Photographs
Photography by Nelta Kasparian

The parade began in Giffin Square in Deptford, we all met wearing our exciting costumes.

In the spirit of celebration, we carried signs decorated with a picture of a catfish.

We made our costumes in workshops with artists using fabric and cardboard fruit boxes from Deptford High Street.

We were inspired by food, animals and Adinkra symbols from West Africa.

Jelili led the parade through Deptford with the blow of a horn and an almighty shake of his impressive costume.

Whilst being together as a community, we also expressed our individual creativity.

7. Parade Documentary
Videography by Elana

Watch documentation of ‘The Earth is a Beehive’ by Jelili Atiku.

8. Ship
ChART Befriending Group at WG Grace Centre

Papier mache ships sailed down Deptford High Street, a reminder of Deptford’s naval and colonial history.

9. Dolphin Puppet
Evan Wong with support from Emma Prince

This puppet was inspired by the dolphins in Deptford’s coat of arms, reflecting the area’s connection to water and migration.

10. Catfish Placards
Jelili Atiku and the children of Lewisham Borough

Jelili selected the catfish as it is an important symbol in Yoruba and Benin cultures where it represents prosperity, peace & strength.

11. Jelili’s Costume
Jelili Atiku

Jelili’s spectacular costume is made out of cloth bought from Rose African Fabrics on Deptford High St, covered in the Okodee Mmowere symbol, meaning strength, bravery & power.

Unless otherwise stated, all images by Reece Straw.


‘Celebrating Community’ displays costumes and photographs from the 2022 Deptford X Parade, ‘The Earth is a Beehive’ by Jelili Atiku. Atiku is a Nigerian artist and activist, who was commissioned to produce a processional performance for the final day of Deptford X Festival 2022. Atiku collaborated with children from Lewisham schools; Edmund Waller Primary School, Turnham Academy, Watergate School, as well as Woodpecker Youth Group, to produce a spectacular parade around Deptford that drew on the complex histories of the borough and its people while celebrating the rich heritages and collectivity that persist in the present day.

The exhibition is an opportunity to see a film and photographs of the parade; Atiku’s costume; and to discover more about the ideas behind Aitku’s work. It is a family-friendly exhibition that includes collage workshops for children that celebrate what it means to live in Lewisham borough and be part of a diverse community.


This exhibition also exists physically at Migration Museum in Lewisham Shopping Centre. For more information, please see our dedicated webpage and visit.

Accessibility: The Migration Museum and Lewisham Shopping Centre are fully accessible for wheelchair users. If you have specific questions about access requirements, please contact Migration Museum at info@migrationmuseum.org or on 020 3488 4508 (during opening hours). If you or your child have access requirements or have any questions about access provisions, please email jessica@deptfordx.org.