Guardians of Leeds
A celebration of unheard perspectives that explore how the stories we share shape our reality.
Illustration of woman holding a flame torch


cartoon of 3 women from ethnically diverse backgrounds holding creative items
Guardians of Leeds

Across Leeds

Discover an augmented reality treasure hunt throughout Leeds, uncovering spoken word poems by Leeds poets in collaboration with Xabiso Vili.

The project features illustrated portraits mounted throughout the city, which audiences are invited to track down and, using Augmented Reality through your phone, discover music, video and spoken word poetry exploring the poets' relationship to the city, their past and the futures they can imagine for themselves.


Xabiso Vili standing in front of a wall that says 'Creativity take Courage'
Xabiso Vili

The World Poetry Slam Champion, a Mail & Guardian top 200 Young South African for 2022 and a Future Africa Grant recipient, Xabiso Vili is a multi-award winning performer, writer, new media artist, producer, digital strategist and social activist. He is the founder and Executive Creative Director of Siziintsomi Creations, a creative incubator company that focuses on the intersection of storytelling, innovative mediums and media and healing. His writings help him explore his inner world to be able to relate to the outer world. 


Commissioned by LEEDS 2023. Supported by the British Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Supported by

Logo British Council
Heritage Fund

Discover more behind the scenes stories

    Man and woman pose with their arms spread out, man wears cape and woman wears tailored jacket featuring the gift fabric
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    Artist Keith Khan has created a unique artwork for each of the 33 wards of Leeds to celebrate our communities.

    makeshift brass instrument

    Sounds of everyday resistance. Sokunge is a collaboration of artists, poets, and musicians explores stories of oppression from marginalised people. 

    An artist sketch of the Hibiscus Rising sculpture in gardens
    Hibiscus Rising
    Nov onwards

    New hope grows in the city. African-inspired batik patterns decorate a 10 metre high hibiscus flower by Yinka Shonibare CBE, honouring the life and legacy of David Oluwale

A shot of Leeds Culture Map

Leeds Culture Map

Explore our Culture Map

Can't make it to the city? You can still explore the area using our Culture Map. A fun and interactive way to see everything going on during LEEDS 2023 and beyond...

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