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A three part spoken word series made in response to a surge in online activism.

Fully supported by Arts Council England


“It sounds so cynical, but I think we live in a state of an absence of justice.”

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, spoken word poet Justina Kehinde (alumna of the Royal Court Writers’ Group) and director Munotida Chinyanga (credits include Ass. Dir. on Tree at the Young Vic) have created a captivating short film that focuses on absences of justice within medical, legal and religious institutions and explores how young black people in particular, might find creative and necessary ways of overcoming them.

IN THE ABSENCE OF: Justice was inspired by and features interviews with:


Dr Annabel Sowemimo

Dr Annabel Sowemimo, founder of Decolonising Contraception, is a sexual and reproductive health doctor. She is also a freelance writer.


You can read more about Decolonising Contraception here:

Follow Dr. Annabel on twitter:


Sam Oladeinde

Lawyer-cum-West End performer Sam Oladeinde previously read Law at the University of Cambridge, and qualified as a solicitor in a premier international law firm. He also has an impressive Acting CV!


Naomi Maxwell 

Naomi Maxwell is an Ordinand from the Church of England. 



Created by Munotida Chinyanga and Justina Kehinde


Producer: Burnt Lemon Theatre

Director: Munotida Chinyanga 

Screenplay and Poetry: Justina Kehinde 

 Original Score and Composition : Joshua McGovern 

Choreographer : Shaka Kalokoh

 Lighting Design: Maggie Slabon

Camera : Ana Cardoso

 Editor: Munotida Chinyanga

 Text Animation : Gabrielle Ngoo

 Studio Technician: Adeeb Abdul Razak 


Performed by Justina Kehinde



Grace Akinbode 

Shaka Kalokoh 

Tânia Miranda de Carvalho 

Selina Jones 

Daniel N’Guessan-Lopez



Me and my mates at school, we noticed some things. 

Gaps in our community we know need to be filled 

To make our town a better place for you and me. 

But it can't come down to us alone -

Who’s the authority? 

Will they even listen to a kid like me?

IN THE ABSENCE OF: Authority was inspired by and features interviews with:


Jazz, Rebecca & Billy - members of WE WILL 

As featured in the Guardian, People Magazine and CBBC Newsround, WE WILL are an award winning youth mental health group from West Cumbria. Working as a group, they have carried out their own research, worked with community leaders and businesses and raised their concerns to the government, campaigning tirelessly to change the way people think about youth mental health.


Read more about WE WILL here, and be sure to check out their own award winning short films:

Stefan & Tiby - members of Heart of Pitsea’s Youth YOUnique Generation

Stefan and Tiby are from Pitsea in Essex. Their contributions to their local community through the youth forum Youth YOUnique Generation, from the creation of Legacy Park to a space to speak through young people's feelings, are incredibly inspiring. Together, the forum listens to their local community and takes action on social issues.


Find out more about Youth YOUnique Generation here:

Cast & Creative Team


Maya Britto

William Shackleton

Macadie Amoroso

Karan Desai

 Director and Composer: Hannah Benson

Writer: Cara Baldwin

Producer: Tanya Agarwal, Burnt Lemon Theatre

Editor: Munotida Chinyanga 

Animator: Lucy Redman


Meet Anna. A 21 year old with a passion for baking… and change making. 


When Anna sees #activism trending on Instagram, she recognises an opportunity to share her story. But before she expresses her pre-heated passion online, she lays out steps she can take on and off screen, and thinks of boundaries she can set to safely call out injustice.

IN THE ABSENCE OF: Acknowledgment was inspired by and features interviews with:


Eliza Hatch - Cheer Up Luv - @cheerupluv

Founded by Eliza Hatch, Cheer Up Luv is an internationally recognised photo series which retells accounts of street harassment.

Find out more:


Maya Pillay - Books From Herbie - @booksfromherbie

Maya and her team at Books From Herbie are on a mission to provide as many racially diverse books possible to UK Primary Schools. 

Find out more:


Maya & Gemma Tutton - Our Streets Now - @ourstreetsnow

Sisters Maya & Gemma co-founded Our Streets Now: a campaign demanding the right of women and girls to feel and be safe in public space. 

Find out more:

Cast & Creative Team


Anna: Performed by Jade Johnson

Writer & Directer: Cara Baldwin

Composer: Hannah Benson

Producer: Tanya Agarwal, Burnt Lemon Theatre

Editer: Munotida Chinyanga 

Text animation: Gabrielle Ngoo 

Youth Organisations


IN THE ABSENCE OF Acknowledgement is one of three short films made for people aged 14-21.  It is our aim to distribute the films, for free, to youth organisations, schools and colleges across the UK alongside a resource pack. If you are interested in showing IN THE ABSENCE OF within an organisation, please contact Tanya at


In a whirlwind of inquisition, IN THE ABSENCE OF acts as an introduction to activism. The series encourages us to use our voices, to seek support within community groups and looks at the need for a radical imagination to ensure protests transcend social media and help usher in a new way of life.

Inspired by interviews with a bunch of inspiring activists from Eliza Hatch of Cheer Up Luv, community group WE WILL (Ewanrigg) to West End performer come lawyer Sam Oladeinde and more - Burnt Lemon Theatre are proud to present three spoken word shorts.


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