11 March 2020 Voices of (Un)belonging organised by Decolonise UoK. Below is an excerpt from our blog post on the workshop we led on Embodied Writing.
We came to collaborate with Decolonise University of Kent (Decolonise UoK) at the Voices of (Un)Belonging event through a longer relationship of mutual support and sharing that began in early 2019 with the launch of the Decolonise UoK Manifesto. This event was to bring together students from across institutions who were coming together to share experiences of and strategies from their decolonising work, and to explore potential future collaborations. We were asked to contribute an arts-led workshop that would welcome them, and generate connections and conversations, which we entitled ‘Writing for Resistance.’ We aimed to facilitate an accessible workshop for creative self-expression that would have a lasting, tangible output, as well as contribute to documenting the ongoing labour and valuable insights of decolonial and antiracist student groups.
25-26 October 2019, Building the Anti-Racist Classroom: Organizing for Liberation, Queen Mary University of London
Sponsored by BARC and CRED.
The two-day series of events have been designed as an intervention against the systems of white power that structure our places of learning. We ask: what does it mean to build an anti-racist classroom? What worlds should we be imagining and building in spite of the violence that surrounds us? Inspired by the work of Building the Anti Racist Classroom Collective, this event asks participants to build ethical principles that will inform our organizing. All of the sessions will feed into digital and print resources that will be made available after the event.
Given that these conversations are taking place in the shadow of Brexit, at a university located in East London, we must ask: why now and why here? The question of Brexit has been informed by a nostalgia for Britain as Empire and a desire to harden borders. We also know that Brexit is just one of several national contexts of increased violence and uncertainty for those positioned outside of deathly border regimes, as these borders manifest at everyday, local, national and international scales. In times of explicit racist violence, we refuse to wait for “progress” within inherently violent systems. This workshop is an opportunity to collaborate in community and imagine our future in a principled space; centering people of colour, our knowledge and methodologies for survival.
Speakers and workshop organisers for this event included:
- Akile Ahmet
- Akwugo Emejulu
- Building the Anti-Racist Classroom – with Angela Martinez Dy and Deborah Brewis
- Decolonise UoK – with Suhraiya Jivraj
- Francesca Sobande
- Gail Lewis
- George Yancy
- Goldsmith Anti-Racist Occupation
- Hodan Yusuf
- Racial Justice Network – with Peninah Wangari-Jones and Remi Joseph-Salisbury
- Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan
8 February 2019 BARC Zine-Making Workshop: Making Tools of Resistance
Far from the idea of developing a tool-kit, BARC wish to explore and understand the power of creating subversive artefacts that can be exchanged, circulated, and passed around the university campus space as an act of anti-racist intervention. The workshop invites 15 attendees to develop ideas for making zines. Drawing inspiration from the 19th century abolitionist pamphlet campaigns, the workshop will facilitate zine design, content and piloting campaigns to be launched at Kent Law School’s decolonizing event in March 2019. A few spaces are still open – to register, email us.
20 February 2019 Queen Mary University of London Teaching and Learning conference
BARC facilitated a session targeting teaching faculty and administrative staff. The session will comprise of playing a ‘student journey game’, a free evidence-based resource that BARC have developed for raising awareness purposes. The game has been developed in line with the knowledge students of colour at Queen Mary have about their experiences of structural inequality in classroom dynamics and campus life. Bookings are open for QMUL staff only.
20 March 2019, Zine-Making Workshop, University of Kent School of Law, Centre for Sexuality, Race and Gender Justice
We are supporting Decolonise UKC, a decolonising research collective at Kent comprising a group of research students who will deliver a manifesto focusing on education, inclusivity & identity to the staff and student body. We will host a creative workshop on zine-making to develop and disseminate practical anti-racist strategies. Contact Decolonise UKC for details.
BARC facilitated a morning of collaboration and reflection among University of Kent’s postgraduate community. Building on Decolonise UKC’s manifesto launch, UKC students and staff played the Student Journey Game, to understand the state of play at the university and to establish what further work is needed to support the manifesto. This event was in collaboration with Katja May (PhD student, English), Decolonise UKC and is funded by the Postgraduate Community-Experience Awards, University of Kent.
30 May 2019, Building the Anti Racist Classroom Workshop, Middlesex University London
We are facilitating a long-table event to provide a space for students and staff of colour to come together and reflect on their experiences, to recognise how these experiences are patterned and to build a supportive community for establishing solidaristic relations. This event is funded by University of Middlesex and is organized in collaboration with Dr Akile Ahmet, Department of Sociology, Middlesex University London. The workshop is open to Middlesex students and staff only.
15-16 June 2019, Organizing for Liberation part 1, Leeds-Beckett University
We will be hosting an exciting 2-day intensive skill-building and community development event for Northern UK HE anti-racist organisers, early career researchers and student activists. We will be engaging with the simple but provocative question: What is an anti-racist space? We will reflect deeply on this simple yet provocative question as we move forward in our work that develops the theoretical tools for our times that can be used to dismantle white supremacy in the classroom. We build on Tate and Bagguley’s (2017) conceptualisation of the anti-racist university as a ‘contact zone’ where different people and ideas might be brought together in non-hierarchical relations to (re)form one another. We ask: What does an anti-racist classroom look like? What does it feel like? Who is understood to be a ‘good’ student, and how does she transform over the course of her degree? What alternative philosophies can we draw on to envisage and embody anti-racist spaces, practices, and relations to one another? And do we have the language to imagine it, construct it, demand it?
The workshop will be open to scholars and activists from any discipline, but will target those with a history and commitment to anti-racist organizing. It is free to attend, but solidarity donations are gratefully accepted. Funded by NARTI, Professor Shirley Anne Tate, Director of the Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality will co-host with BARC. Registration is now closed!
18-19 October 2018, Building the Anti Racist Classroom Workshop, QMUL
Our inaugural workshop established BARC as a collective of women of colour scholars committed to community-building among people of colour and white allies across higher education institutions. For a description of what took place, please go to the link provided: 18-19 Oct – Inaugural Workshop, Queen Mary, University of London