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Everyday Heroes: key workers celebrated at Southbank, where hundreds face sack


Southbank Centre, London
Artists’ heartfelt tributes to friends and relatives who battled through the Covid pandemic make a striking outdoor portrait show, even as the arts centre’s own workers face redundancies

What is a hero? Aristotle writes of “superhuman virtue, a heroic and divine kind of virtue” that is the counterbalance to brutishness. But heroic virtue is not the stuff of the everyday, he warns: “It is rarely that a godlike man is found.”

Brutish times, apparently, breed the heroes required to meet them. Those caring for the sick, the old, the young, who keep buses circulating, shops stocked, and waste disposed of. These are the Everyday Heroes portrayed – in image and verse – in this open-air exhibition at the Southbank Centre in London.

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