Your Local Arena is a unique project featuring iconic films from the archives of BBC TV’s Arena, the pioneering cultural documentary series. It includes new poems inspired by the Arena films and panel talks to explore the continuing relevance of the Arena archives today. The Your Local Arena concept was developed by Lucy Hannah and Speaking Volumes, with Arena’s award-winning director/editor Anthony Wall as creative consultant, and funded by Arts Council England.

Watch our trailer below for the project to see a bit of what took place during the last YLA, and what to expect this time around.

In 2020-21, Your Local Arena materialised as a year-long series of online presentations, necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic (the archive of which you can explore here). Over the next year, we are excited to be producing a new live series of YLA events which you can discover more about on our partner, Lucy Hannah’s, website. Find a Your Local Arena event taking place near you at

Upcoming Your Local Arena events

Black History Month 2023:

Wednesday 4 October – Rudies Come Back in Leicester with Pauline Black, Rhoda Dakar, Kevin Le Gendre, Cubs the Poet and Helen Thomas. Present with Serendipity Arts at the Phoenix Cinema – book your place here

Thursday 5 October – Upon Westminster Bridge with Linton Kwesi Johnson, Hannah Lowe, Helen Thomas and Anthony Wall. Presented with the George Padmore Institute and the 198 Gallery at 198 Gallery, Herne Hill, London – book your place here

Thursday 19 October – From Brixton to Barbados with Colin Grant, Dorothea Smartt, Helen Thomas and Anthony Wall. Presented with WritersMosaic at the Nightingale, Brightonmore information and get tickets here

And beyond:

Saturday 25 November 2023 – Hair – at Push the Boat Out, Edinburgh – more information will be available here

April 2024 – Caribbean Nights: Poetry at Lyra Poetry Festival, Bristol – more information will be available here

More events will be added – check back soon

Your Local Arena is a Lucy Hannah & Speaking Volumes co-production featuring BBC Arena’s film archive. Funded by Arts Council England.