Studio 9294

After a false start and the sense that clubs as we know them might never truly return, Freedom Day – for England – finally landed on 19 July.

The term refers to England’s exit out of lockdown restrictions. After 18 months of shuttered spaces, the milestone marks the return of clubs, events and dancing without social distancing rules. Emulsion Magazine, an independent studio and publication based in London, celebrated Freedom Day with a free party at Studio 9294 in Hackney Wick. A roster of groundbreaking artists and performers were invited to revel in “the possibility of a renewed sense of collectivity and transcendence through dance”.

With contributions from artists at the bleeding edge of Manchester’s fertile experimental scene like Space Afrika and Blackhaine, impeccable selectors like Zakia Sewell and globally renowned visual artists like Mark Leckey and Jonathan Castro, this was an ambitious, cross-discipline experience. London-based photographer Avesta Keshtmand was there to capture the ceremony.