As an alternative to in-person public programming, Languid Hands and R.I.P. Germain have invited public artist responses to Dead Yard, to continue engaging with the themes of personal and collective grief, and to ensure that the affective impact of the exhibition can be experienced remotely. Abondance Matanda's poem 'Freedom Cry Born', the first of these commissions, is inspired by, and written in response to the works in R.I.P. Germain's Dead Yard.


hangin on by a chain
reactin from a place
of suspended pain
prayin and libatin away
dis numbness dats
nicked us in
a noose all now

so da time shud come where
dem gruff hands must can
get da hell out of our here
since dese roots woz always meant to 
rise dere way up to
say hello to da heavens

but we been
beat & bun & bruk down n out 
beyond wot even
look worthy of anuvva sparkin

yet we stay wayfindin. still 
feel a way to grin teef
and sing a sweetest
lullaby for da sake
of our angel pickney
who still pick we to raise dem
day in n day out ah dis realm
cah dey dun kno our darkness
don’t dim dere light in da slightest !

a sunshine did dawn each and 
every moment a freedom cry born

Bio: Abondance Matanda writes poetry in an authentic colloquial voice, as a commentary on and interrogation of contemporary inner-city life and culture. Her work is inspired by being raised and coming of age in London in the 21st century. She dissects aspects of her identity and lived experience, including girlhood, language and blackness, from a working class hood perspective.

The public programme for Dead Yard is supported by Arts Council England.