This is a sponsored article on behalf of Get Living.
In 2012, it was a home-away-from-home for Olympians, but East Village is celebrating a different kind of champion this summer.
To mark its 10th anniversary, Get Living is putting the spotlight on some of the people making huge contributions to this 6,000-strong east London community, which was once the London 2012 Athletes' Village. There's stunning photography, tons of fun opportunities to explore this recently reimagined area, and even some prizes to be won...
First up? Where We Belong by London photographer and visual artist Hajia Dahiru. This new exhibition features ten portraits of local residents, business owners, and community leaders, along with their stories. These include Dax Patel, owner of zero-waste store Refill Therapy, and Michelle Tohill, founder of Bridget’s Café, which provides job opportunities for adults with additional needs.
The exhibition is free to attend and runs till 22 July. Head to East Village co-creation hub The Lab E20 between noon and 5pm, Thursday to Sunday, to see it.
If you're a fan of Hajia's work, you'll also want to mark 15 July in your diary, when she'll be sharing her enviable skills on a photography walk around East Village (10am-noon). Along the way, you'll hear all about the area's fascinating history, in between getting to grips with the fundamentals of photographing cityscapes, landscapes, and abstract images. The photography walk is also totally free to attend — you're simply asked to bring your own camera (though a smartphone will do!)
There are other opportunities to get creative, too! And one of them comes with a rather special incentive. As part of East Village's 10th anniversary celebrations, Get Living is giving budding photographers the chance to win vouchers for Virgin Experience Days and an Instax Camera.
All you have to do is tag @wearegetliving on Instagram and share a photo from one of Get Living’s neighbourhoods (East Village, Elephant Central, or New Maker Yards) which represents what belonging means to you, using the hashtag #WhereWeBelong. Hurry — the competition closes on 13 July!
If that's not enough for you, don't worry — we haven't even got to the centrepiece of the celebrations yet! On 15 July, East Village's annual Summer Fete returns. Head to Victory Park from noon to 5pm for live music, fabulous street food courtesy of Urban Food Fest, and all sorts of goodies from local community groups and businesses. Plus, there are free drop-in arts and crafts activities, including a flower crown making workshop in The Lab E20 (it is festival season, after all).
This is a family-friendly affair, complete with games, challenges and face painting. Even your four-legged friend is invited to get involved, in the form of a dog fancy dress competition!
Find out about all of Get Living's 10 year anniversary celebrations for East Village here.