Coventry UK City of Culture Trust announces “the Energies” as part of Coventry Moves


Coventry UK City of Culture Trust has revealed six well-known people who will play a starring role in the signature event, Coventry Moves on 5 June. Playing the role of the Energies of the city, they have been selected to represent the personality of Coventry and introduce some of the themes that will be explored across Coventry’s year as City of Culture.

They are: Paralympian Kare Adenegan (Resilience), charity chief executive Sue Bent, (Social Justice), poet and rapper John Bernard (Youthfulness), singer and 2Tone icon Pauline Black (Sustainability), singer-songwriter Navin Kundra (People Power), and artist Daniel Lismore (Innovation). 

Experienced across the nation through a major partnership with the BBC and extensive broadcast, online and social media content, Coventry Moves will tell the story of the city’s pioneering past, present and future from 8.30am and throughout the day. 

During the event the Energies will perform in live segments for digital content that will be broadcast throughout the day, with Pauline Black performing a new song written for the event at the start of the day.

Resilience - Kare Adenegan
Kare is a T34 Wheelchair Athlete and Paralympian.  RESILIENCE is the city's ability to rise up from the challenges that confront it. Going beyond simply rebuilding homes and roads after the destruction of warfare, instead building back better, creating a template for a better world – a new Cathedral built next to the ruins of the old as a permanent symbol of rebirth; a Utopian vision for a contemporary city. And now a city using culture to come together again and build back after a global pandemic.

Social Justice - Sue Bent
Sue Bent is CEO of Central England Law Centre, a Coventry-based charity that employs solicitors and advisors to provide free, independent advice and representation. She represents the spirit of SOCIAL JUSTICE which is found in Coventry today and throughout its history, from Lady Godivas protest against the unjust taxation of the city’s poor, the workers movements associated with the factories and workshops, or the democratisation movement throughout the globe that came with the mass-production bicycles in the city.

Youthfulness - John Bernard
John Bernard is a poet & rapper based in Coventry who uses his artistry to inspire, influence and invigorate his listeners. The YOUTHFULNESS of the city can be found in its curiosity and the refusal of generations of young people to accept the way that things were done before.  It lies in its tradition of youth music - Two Tone, Rave, The Enemy and Jay 1, and street culture of skateboarding and parkour. Youthfulness is not just an age, it can also be found in the adults who continue to question and be responsive to new ideas and ways of doing.  

Sustainability - Pauline Black
Pauline Black is the lead singer of acclaimed Two Tone band The Selecter. She represents SUSTAINABILITY, which reminds us to connect with our origins, with the land that we come from, to live well with it, to put back as much as we take, to be guardians of the earth’s resource for future generations.  Coventry is the birthplace of the Green Party, and today is home to green technologies that are transforming the transport sector. For Coventry Moves, Black will perform a new song with the World Song Choir with orchestration by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. It has been written specially for the event composed by Unamay Olomaiye and Sibongile Mkoba, and lyrics and melody created through workshops with a group of residents from Spon End.

People Power - Navin Kundra
Navin Kundra is a singer, songwriter, actor and live performer. Representing the PEOPLE POWER of Coventry, who built and rebuilt the city, and made its famous watches and bikes. A thriving manufacturing hub and the UK’s motor city, people travelled from around the world to live and work in Coventry, enriching the life of the city through the food, language and cultures they brought with them.  Coventry is known around the world as a city of welcome and a city of sanctuary, a theme that is explored across its year as City of Culture.

Innovation - Daniel Lismore
Daniel Lismore is a London & Coventry based artist. He represents the Coventry's spirit of INNOVATION, which stems from the evolution of its industries – from ribbons to watches to sewing machines to bicycles to cars to the jet engine. This inventive spirit inspired a brave new vision for a post-war utopia – twinning cities to bring together ordinary people for dialogue rather than conflict; creating Theatre in Education, which provided access to the arts for every child in the city; and pioneers such as the composer Delia Derbyshire. Today Coventry is leading the way in digital technologies, with its two universities, Coventry University and the University of Warwick leading the way.

Justine Themen, Director of Coventry Moves said:

“In creating our event, we wanted to tangibly represent and celebrate the unique spirit of our city. Working with six young artists, we drew on work with communities to shape six Energies that are woven into the fabric of Coventry’s identity - Social Justice, Innovation, Youthfulness, People Power, Resilience and Sustainability.  We commissioned local writers to encapsulate these energies in words, and are delighted to also be working with an extraordinary range of Coventry talent through the people playing these Energies - people making waves in our world through activism, sport, words, creativity, and music - who capture the city’s spirit in their day-to-day.” 

John Bernard said:

“It has been of value as a creative in the city to have been offered various opportunities to not only be a part of but also have input on some of the projects that City of Culture have run. The Coventry Moves project is one that I have been blessed to be a part of, both on the writing and performance side. I feel the project has utilized the city's history in an impactful way that will help our generation to appreciate those who have come before us and for us to understand that we are now pioneering a path for those who will come after us.” 

Pauline Black said:

"As a Coventry local, I am immensely honoured and proud to be working with the talented creatives involved in Coventry Moves, in bringing what promises to be an unforgettable event, for the beginning of the long awaited Coventry City of Culture 2021 celebrations".

Daniel Lismore said:

"I grew up in Fillongley & Coventry which have meaningful, emotional & strong historical connections to me as an artist. I’m so looking forward to supporting Coventry Moves and my participation and curation will celebrate and display universal themes exploring the intersection between art, fashion, architecture, ancient & modern world cultures & haute couture’’

Kare Adenegan

Kare is a T34 Wheelchair Athlete and Paralympian. She started wheelchair racing at the age of eleven after watching the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Four years later, she became a 3x Paralympic Medalist (Silver 100m, Bronze 400m and 800m), representing Paralympics GB at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. 

Kare is also a 7x World Medalist and is the European Champion over the T34 100m (2018). Kare was also named 2018 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year. 

Off the track, Kare advocates for diversity and inclusion in para sport and currently studies History at Warwick University. 

Sue Bent


Sue Bent is CEO of Central England Law Centre, a Coventry-based charity that employs solicitors and advisors to provide free, independent advice and representation. Its mission is to use legal expertise in ways that will make society more equal, and it specializes in areas of social welfare law, like housing, community care, welfare benefits, immigration and employment law. Sue has been in this post since 2004 and before that worked for nearly 20 years in social housing at Coventry City Council.

Inequality is systemic. Central England Law Centre works for whole system change. We use the law to challenge and to disrupt. We hold ‘the system’ to account

We have a national reputation for pioneering new approaches to enabling access to justice to the most disadvantaged people. Partnerships are at the heart of the approach and collaborations with other organisations working to support those who are most excluded have produced innovative ways of delivering services and blending legal services with other forms of support to offer holistic responses for people with multiple needs. 

John Bernard

John Bernard is a Coventry based Poet & Rapper who uses his artistry to inspire, influence and invigorate his listeners with meaningful messages. His work commentates on social issues, youth empowerment, faith and purpose. Distinctive delivery, commanding voice, an intricate lyricist his content is authentically raw and potent. As an artist who is committed to youth empowerment, he currently runs a social enterprise that engages young people from disadvantaged areas.

Notable achievements include signing a publishing deal with Sony Emi to release four of his Spoken Word songs which have been released as part of a compilation Album. He was the first recipient of the Herbert Art Gallery’s digital micro-commission in which he delivered a powerful poetry film which was featured on BBC 1XTRA. He was one of the six winners of BBC Words First competition cementing his spot as one of the best emerging spoken word talents in the U.K. He was commissioned by leading spoken word agency Apples and Snakes to write a piece which was later picked up BBC radio 6 and featured on Tom Robinson program. Subsequently, his music is continuing to grow and he has recently been enlisted to perform at Radio One's big weekend BBC Introducing Stand. 

Pauline Black

Performer, singer, artist, band leader and songwriter, Pauline Black has dedicated four decades to the music scene. Supporting and campaigning for racial equality throughout her work, she describes herself as first and foremost, a singer.

A lifelong love of music inspired by punk and reggae artists from the 1970s led Pauline to join The Selecter and a career that has seen her travel across the world to share her passion and artistry with hundreds of thousands of fans. The Selecter went on to become a platinum-selling band and one of the most influential within the 2 Tone music scene, alongside others including The Beat, The Specials and Madness. Pauline Black is one of very few women in the 2-Tone scene – she is often referred to as the Queen of Ska.

After releasing their first album, Too Much Pressure, in 1980, the band went on to release 5 top 40 singles in the UK, and to this day continue to write new music and inspire new audiences. 2019 marked the 40th anniversary of 2 Tone and The Selecter and in 2021 the 40th Anniversary of the release of Too Much Pressure was celebrated with a Deluxe Edition which reached #1 in the Official UK Vinyl Album Charts and #1 in the Official UK Independent Album Charts.

Pauline released her autobiography ‘Black by Design’ in 2011, she has previously worked as an actress and presenter, performing on stage and on screen and has presented a number of radio shows on BBC 6 Music and TV music documentaries on BBC 4. She has also collaborated with other artists including Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz and Africa Express.

The Selecter is led by Pauline Black and co-fronted by original member Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson. They are hoping to be playing festivals and touring again in 2021 and currently writing for a new studio album.

Navin Kundra

Navin Kundra is an award winning singer/songwriter from Coventry, UK. The multi-lingual artist, who performs in English, Hindi and Punjabi has established himself as an exciting independent talent by scoring 6 number 1 singles with a fresh blend of Pop/R&B and Indian musical influences. His songs have gained popularity across the world which has led him to perform shows in the UK, Holland, Germany, Norway, Morocco, Monaco, USA, Canada, Dubai, Turkey and South Africa, enabling him to cultivate a strong, loyal and international fanbase. With millions of views on YouTube and thousands of engaged fans on his social networks, Navin is now collaborating with writers and producers from F/H Block at Ealing Studios in London, which have churned out hits by Naughty Boy, Zayn, J Hus, Yungen and Emeli Sande. His first two English singles, “No Games” and “Tear It Up”, gained popular club DJ support with both penetrating the Musicweek Urban Club Charts and peaking at #6 amongst names like The Weeknd, Bruno Mars and Beyonce.

Daniel Lismore

Daniel Lismore is a London & Coventry based artist.  He started his career as a photographer before moving in front of the lens and becoming a model. He has been shot by and acted as creative consultant to some of the world's most famous photographers including Mert & Marcus, Steven Klein, Martin Parr, David LaChapelle and Ellen von Unwerth. 

He is known for living his life as art, for elaborate and extravagant ensembles. Lismore has been named by Vogue as ‘England's Most Eccentric Dresser’, and selected as one of Out 100 and in the top 100 of the Guardian’s Pride Power List.  A prominent fixture on the London fashion and art circuits.

His first book, Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken published by Rizzoli. In this book he shared 32 3D sculptures that comprised his first US museum exhibition, co-curated by Savannah College of Art and Design and which was later displayed at Miami Art Basel. In May 2017 he had an exhibition at the Venice Biennale

In June 2018 Lismore curated a month long show of his work at Harpa Hall in Iceland as the highlight of the Reykjavik Arts Festival. The exhibition continued to travel the world opening at Pan Museum in Naples, Italy and Stary Brower Gallery in Poznań. The exhibition has been visited by over 100,000 audiences from over the globe. 

Lismore is an active campaigner and was the face of H&M Close the Loop campaign to encourage recycling of clothes, is an ambassador of the climate change charity Cool Earth and has worked closely with Vivienne Westwood on her Climate Revolution projects. He also undertook voluntary work for the charity Icross and NWI, Kenya.

He has appeared in numerous TV shows and films including a cameo in Absolutely Fabulous the Movie, Sky Portrait of The Year and Marina Abramovic Takes Over TV.

He has been the Circuit Ambassador for Tate Museum who hosted his first two exhibitions in 2012 & 2013 featuring self-portraits and he is also a Global Ambassador for Graduate Fashion Week which reflects the 6 years he spent as creative director of luxury women’s wear brand Sorapol.

In April 2019 he gave a TED Talk at the main TED conference in Vancouver, titled "My Life As A Work Of Art" where for the first time he spoke about the art of living sculpture. 

Since September 2019 he became the face of numerous Bulgari campaigns and opened Naomi Campbells Fashion for Relief runway show at the British Museum revealing one of the first costumes he designed for the English National Opera in collaboration with Swarovski for the product of Birtwistle's iconic opera "The Mask of Orpheus" at the London Coliseum.

Since the Covid 19 pandemic Daniel has been residing between Coventry and London working on LGBTQ+ activism and new mediums of art works.