“Nature wiLL outlast capitalism”

Songwriter-scientist Love Ssega designs his utopia

He might have the verbal elasticity of his favourite ‘90s rappers, but as we live and breathe, Love Ssega is making a big impact when it comes to fighting toxic air

We don’t need hyperbole or destructions
Give us the facts, we don’t want the factions
We have the people, we have the stories
Show us the pictures, not allegories

Love Ssega, ‘Our World (Fight for Air)’

Born and raised in south-east London, Ssegawa-Ssekintu ‘Love Ssega’ Kiwanuka, 34, uses music and filmmaking to campaign against localised air pollution.

Love Ssega: “In My World of Good”

… everyone has read Sita Brahmachari’s When Shadows Fall

It’s a young adult’s book, but one I wish I had when I was growing up. It talks about tragedy, trauma, falling through the cracks but also modern issues of the negative cost of gentrification, perceptions of migrants and refugees and most of all healing. The world is a complex place right now, so for older readers this might shine a light into the world we are leaving for our young people. It’s such a powerful story.

Everyone should have access to books. Technology has sped up our lives too much and forced us into a form of narcism. Books on the other hand force us to pay attention to the simple words, don’t have any tabs and no email notifications to distract us. They never run out of battery either and can be passed from friend to fried or generation to generation.

… everyone has watched Everything Everywhere All At Once

It’s absurdist, but incredibly funny film about multiverses and something I will probably have to watch a number of times to catch everything. From a cultural perspective, it’s probably the first film that weaves English and a foreign language – Mandarin and Cantonese – so seamlessly and so sharply in terms of comedic dialogue.

Michelle Yeoh stars as Evelyn Wang in Everything Everywhere All At Once | Image courtesy of A24

We need new stories to reflect the world we are in. Plus I love a bit of action and everything A24 does as a production company is original and on point. It stars Michelle Yeoh and is written and directed by Daniels (Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert).

there will be no ‘bland

No bland food, no bland clothes, no bland attitudes. We’re not here for that. Things should be spicy! In my ideal world, there will also be no straight lines. Everything would look like anyone could make it themselves. There would be no concrete to fight against nature or segregate us from it.

I would go swimming every day

we all get to rest

Rest is a superpower that we need. Time to be still and switch off. Nature says things need time to regenerate, whereas capitalism says things must work non-stop until they are depleted. And once depleted, find something else to exploit. Nature will outlast capitalism. It’s outlasted every other human-made system and will outlast humans ourselves too, not that we haven’t been warned.

Love Ssega has also received the the highest sporting honour at Cambridge University – for boxing

the soundtrack would be Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life

Although I could pick any album from his classic period through to back to his Motown days as Little Stevie Wonder. His lyricism, originality and reflection of social times is something that was trailblazing now and still is to this day. Plus you can always sing and dance along to Stevie.

everyone gets to visit the National Gallery in London’s Trafalgar Square

everyone should see Turner’s ‘Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway’ up close

Turner, ‘Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway’ (1844)

I would be not scared of politicians

They come and they go. My only fear is the length of time some of them stick around for shamelessly doing untold damage.

Photo by Wolf James

everyone has listened to Seat At The Table

we all breathe clean air

Live + Breathe 2022 is all about showing power brokers that Black people within Lambeth and Southwark care about climate issues. Not only that, the communities and groups involved here have come together to use art and culture to highlight an issue such as air pollution, which is shown to affect people of colour the most. People in the two areas would rather be doing sport, meeting friends, or training to be future Olympians, but if the air pollution levels are too high, then they are going to come together and make noise about it…

until the government acts to change it.

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