Up The Elephant

By Jo Phillips

The south east London area Elephant and Castles’ unusual name has been attributed to a coaching inn called the Elephant and Castle that opened in 1765, althought there is an appocraful story saying it was based on a princess called La Infanta de Castilla, (first wife of Edward I,) and that the inn itself derived its name from an English corruption of the queens name, that the locals simpley couldnt say the French words and so the mispronuciation to the unusual name.   A core area as it was the one last stop on the way into or out of London 240 yers on teh are has been going through a £4bn regeneration. With it comes much in the way of creative pursuits. In popular culture this area has always had a rich eventful history. Find out more in Up The Elephant here

On 8 January 1949 photographer Bert Hardy’s documentary series on the area of the Elephant was published in the Picture Post magazine, under the title ‘Scenes From The Elephant’ .

The images depicted everyday life in this bustling area. The magazine was a photojournalistic magazine published from 1938 to 1957 and is still considered a pioneering example of photojournalism.

The music video for the 1982 song Come on Eileen by the Dexys Midnight Runners was filmed on Brook Drive and Hayles Street, but because of constant changes, these streets were previously known as Austral Street and Holyoak Road.

Both plays and musicals have been written about it, including The Walworth Farce a 2006 play by Enda Walsh that is set in a council flat on Walworth Road and Teddy a 2015 musical set in the Elephant and Castle in London in 1956. Its most famous ever resident was probably the mesmerising actor Charlie Chaplin.

The landscape has been used as a location for several TV programmes and films including the 2011 British science fiction comedy horror film Attack the Block, and for 2013 American action horror film World War Z which were shot on the Heygate Estate

Now Cinema comes to the picturesque Castle Square, which sits at the heart of retail and leisure offering in Elephant Central. The area is already home to fashion, textiles, electrical products and services and some of the most delicious cafés and restaurants available locally

The highly anticipated Identities Latin America Film Festival is back for a fifth year. Celebrating diverse cultures, the festival is set to take place on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th of August.

This vibrant festival promises to be a captivating celebration of Latin American culture, showcasing independent cinema, dynamic dance performances, mesmerising music, and delectable regional cuisine.

Event highlights include an exciting competition of Latin American short films, focusing on diversity, and cultures, and shining a light on the Latino community. Two Audience Awards will be presented on the closing night.

As well as a focus on Latinx Women, paying tribute to Latinx women throughout the entire weekend, highlighting their contributions and experiences through film screenings. Alongside a collaboration with Femme Frontera, a Mexican touring film festival, to share films that challenge current narratives about gender roles, LGBTQ issues, immigrants, and other communities.

As well as film there will be engaging Latin American dance workshops for families and children, providing an opportunity to experience folk dancing.

Bands and Musicians from a diverse lineup of Latino bands and musicians will be playing, representing different genres and styles of music from Latin America. 

And best of all the Pop-Up Cinema will be set up in the middle of the square, offering attendees a unique and immersive cinematic experience.

Dedicated food stalls representing various countries will serve delicious cuisine and drinks, showcasing the rich culinary traditions of Latin America.

Identities 5 Latin America Film Festival promises to be an extraordinary celebration of Latin American culture, showcasing the power of cinema, dance, music, and regional cuisine. It offers a unique opportunity for attendees to immerse themselves in the vibrancy, diversity, and authentic spirit of Latin America.

To find out more, please visit the festival website at

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