The Fourth Plinth is one of the world’s most famous public art commissions. It plays an important role in bringing contemporary art and debate to millions for free and casting a new light on London’s most historic square. An established icon for London, it brings out the art critic in everyone.
Since launching in 1998, the Fourth Plinth has become known around the world for its diverse commissions and commentary on complex and contemporary issues.
A sculpture of a preacher who was killed in an anticolonialist uprising in what is now Malawi will be unveiled in September on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.
The sculpture restages a 1914 photograph of John Chilembwe, a Baptist preacher and pan-Africanist, and John Chorley, a European missionary, taken at the opening of Chilembwe’s new church in Nyasaland, now Malawi.
Chilembwe is wearing a hat in defiance of a colonial rule forbidding Africans from wearing hats in front of white people. The following year, he led an uprising against colonial rule. Chilembwe was killed and his church, which had taken years to build, was destroyed by the colonial police.
In Kambalu’s sculpture, Chilembwe is almost twice the size of Chorley, as a way of elevating his story and highlighting the distortions in conventional narratives of the British empire.
Kambalu said: “Antelope on the fourth plinth was ever going to be a litmus test for how much I belong to British society as an African and a cosmopolitan.” The commission had filled him with “excitement and joy”, he added.
He had proposed the sculpture for the fourth plinth before the Black Lives Matter movement took off in the UK, he told the BBC last month.
Alongside the rest of the country, we are deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty The Queen and we send our condolences to her family. For 70 years, Her Majesty has been a symbol of inspiration and dignity and has reigned with supreme grace. This is a seismic moment for our country.
The City of Westminster will now become the focal point for the forthcoming state funeral, and the arrangements for this will have a significant impact on the area during this period of mourning with travel and normal business activity restricted.
We are in regular communication with partners at The Metropolitan Police, Westminster City Council and other statutory bodies so will serve as the primary conduit of verified information to our business community.
We will be using our Northbank Emergency Notification System for all future correspondence so please register your details here in order to receive further information via email, SMS and in-app messaging.
The Northbank Security Team patrols 7 days a week from 6.30am – 11.30pm to keep the area safe and response to emergencies and low level antisocial behavior. The team responds to calls on the BID radio system, often being the first on the scene to respond to events or medical emergencies.
Security lead officer Rabih, told us about a recent incident in Trafalgar Square.
“We received a message at 18:17 about a cloud of smoke over Trafalgar Square; As Street safety officers, we put public safety at the heart of everything we do.
We went to investigate and we soon realised there was heavy smoke coming from the Admiralty Pub building on the east side of the Square. There was a very thin police presence, so we decided to stay and help out. The Police approached us asking for help. Our task was to stop the public from walking into the direction of the fire, while officers are taping the area around the Square.
We stayed for over 2hrs helping the public with directions, offering alternative routes, and keeping the public away from danger.
Slowly the fire was put out, and more heavy Police presence was established. When we were sure that the area was safe, and the police in total control, we moved on, to carry-on with our Street patrol. We left the area at 8:50”
Northbank BID members can request a free radio to contact Rabih and the team. To join, please email email@example.com
Ambassadors are the face of the BID on the streets to our visitors and businesses. Here in Northbank we are committed to building great relationships with our businesses and we are ever mindful that we are a crucial link between the BID Team and our Levy Payers.
An excellent example of this comes from our lead Northbank Ambassador, John:
“A month ago, I visited the Temple Brew House, and spoke with Ludovica who runs both the Brew House and Daly’s, located on Essex Street.
In the conversation she mentioned that she wanted to know when Freshers’ Week (Welcome Week) is for our two colleges in Northbank, King’s and LSE, and if we had any contacts for them. I thought this was a great opportunity to link the BID Team with Ludovica and sent an email to the Team to assist.
As a result of this connection, the BID Team personally met with Ludovica, signed her businesses up with the Privilege Card Scheme, discussed security issues and the Night Safety charter, and linked her with the colleges”
I was very proud that this one interaction and email sparked this great connection between the Ludovica, the BID Team and colleges. This is a prime example of how my Ambassador team can really make a difference to the businesses in the area, and we are working hard to create many more of these positive stories.
During the daytime, Northbank’s clean team of friendly janitors patrol the district, keeping the area spick and span. Last month the team provided a deep clean of Villiers Street, Royal Courts of Justice and the Strand, you can really see the difference on these before and after shots!
The BID providers an on-demand janitorial service, to our members should they require one off cleaning to remove spillages, grime or graffiti. The service is available on Monday to Friday 8am – 4.30pm. To request this service just call 07934 845 503.
In the last three months, the Clean Team:
• Swept and litter picked 7,161 blocks of pavement • Cleaned or removed 823 pieces of graffiti or flyposting • Flushed 80,756 sqm of paving with the electric flushing vehicle • Carried out nightly intensive washing of paving amounting to 8,800 sqm • Washed 161 refuse bins, cleaned parklets and gardens 418 times • Cleared 430 on-street waste issues, the janitorial service resolved 281 issues • Collected and removed 1,166 bags of rubbish and recyclable waste • Removed over 100 bags of leaves