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Greenwich and Docklands International Festival announces dates and opening event plans

The festival returns in August

We Are Watching
© Miguel Bueno

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival (GDIF) will begin this year on 27 August, with a planned run through until 11 September.

The much-loved London festival will open with Swiss artist Dan Acher's We Are Watching, a large-scale response to the ongoing climate crisis.

The piece is essentially a giant eye, created from thousands of digital portraits and presented on a large flag. It will fly in Greenwich and will also be present in Glasgow later this year for the COP26 conference.

Archer said: "We Are Watching brings the eyes of the world to key climate events. It's a collective message of hope, fear and love and a resounding call for global action."

Bradley Hemmings, artistic director of GDIF, said: "GDIF is keen to play its part in promoting environmental responsibility and responding to the climate emergency. Dan Acher's We Are Watching will offer a spectacular opportunity for Londoners to reflect on and engage in the forthcoming COP26 Conference on Climate Change in Glasgow. Flying this extraordinary artwork as the opening event of this year's festival, close to the line of zero degrees longitude (the symbolic centre of time and space) will further reinforce the resonance of this act of art and activism."

The rest of the programme is to be revealed.