Experiencing Interruptions?

Did We Leave The Lights On

What is the price of creativity in 2019? And can everyone afford it? Shot entirely on a mini DV camcorder and using candid voice notes as commentary, Southwark-born interdisciplinary artist and director Daniel Oduntan ponders the issue of practice and sustainability for low-income artists in a post-Brexit world. In the film Oduntan explores the link between social housing and creativity among the diaspora in Southwark and surrounding parts of London. The role these communal spaces play in the arts and how the arts can be a path to healing and progress for residents. Will the falling numbers of affordable homes bring an end to this creativity? If so, what will take its place?

We hear from several Southwark residents, many of whom are from working class backgrounds and live in council housing. There’s photographer and illustrator Harry Alemu, product designer and creative technologist Alex Fefegha, artist/songwriter Joy Crookes, Tate curator Peju Oshin, Pempeople founder Nicholas Okwulu, sociology grad Saffon and IT teacher and social advisor Moses Alemu.

Layered with an original soundtrack of unfinished demos and sketched ideas, ‘Did We Leave the Lights On?’ is a snapshot of Southwark now and a prologue to Oduntan’s forthcoming mixed media project Soul Complex 2010—2012.

– Amar Patel

  • Daniel Oduntan
  • Daniel Oduntan
  • Daniel Oduntan
    Key Cast
  • Harry Alemu
    Key Cast
  • Alex Fefegha
    Key Cast
  • Joy Crookes
    Key Cast
  • Saffon
    Key Cast
  • Nicholas Okwulu
    Key Cast
  • Moses Alemu
    Key Cast
  • Peju Oshin
    Key Cast
  • Euphemia Franklin
    Album Art Design
  • Ben Hixon
    Mix / Mastering
  • 2inspire & Dwane Coleman
    Neon Artwork
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    video study, lo-fi
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 6 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 30, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    0 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Mini DV
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • V&A Friday Late, No PLace Like Home, 2019
    United Kingdom
  • Tate Exchange, Southwark Untold, 2019
    United Kingdom
  • Abuja Art Week, Nigeria, 2019
    Nigeria Premiere
  • S.O.U.L Film Festival, 2020
    United Kingdom
  • Flatpack Festival, 2021
    United Kingdom
Director Biography - Daniel Oduntan

Daniel Oduntan is an interdisciplinary media artist conceptional occupying the spaces between visual arts, sound and performance media. His polymath approach to creativity has led him in recent years to explore the politics of sound archives, the power of imagery and methods of accessibility for black creatives through participatory design. Producing cross-disciplined art, editorials and commissions for the likes of the V&A Museum, UCL, Warp Records, Publicis London and the Design Museum

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

'Did We Leave The Lights On' in many ways is a memory piece and research piece. In it I'm revisiting an unfinished cross art project I worked on between 2010–2012 but stopped due to mental and financial challenges. It's me looking at and coming to terms with unfulfilled dreams and potential, as well as exploring the physical and mental impacts of the lost of social housing and the current creative landscape within Southwark for the Black diaspora.