Heritage Mix 6 April 2018


Dear Reader,

This April 2018 issue of the Black & Asian Heritage Mix invites you to explore ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London (16-20 April 2018) articles and events about the Commonwealth. Is it a relic of the British Empire or does it have a global future?

Interestingly, Deutsche Welle reveals that indigenous activists protested at the recent opening of the 21st Commonwealth Games on the Australian Gold Coast by holding placards which said “Stolenwealth Games” or “Colonisation is not a game”. Is the lack of mainstream British media reporting on these protests also indicative of the power imbalance between rich and poor Commonwealth communities?

In a similar vein, it is striking that even the looting of colonial artefacts –  as the Ethiopian treasures currently on display at the V&A –  can incidentally become a marketing tool, at a time when there are passionate debates around Britain’s colonial past, and the role of cultural representations and public memorials (e.g. statues, blue plaques) in the UK.

The “breaking away from colonial and imperial visions” is also the topic of an increasing number of emerging independent film curators, who use archives to reconsider and disrupt “the imperial gaze” – see for instance the forthcoming screening of “Zerda and Songs of Freedom” at The Mosaic Rooms.

This issue ends with a fascinating story on Syrian refugees, who are learning stonemasonry to rebuild their country. It is a shocking reminder that the war in Syria has been going on for 7 years now and that according to the BBC, 5.6 million Syrians are now refugees, 6.1 million are internally displaced and, contrary to popular belief, 92% of Syrian refugees live in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey and not Europe.

 Thushari Perera

 Black Europe Resources


T H E   C O M M O N W E A L T H

Gold Coast 2018


Commonwealth: On common ground?

(Geographical, 3 April 2018)

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Event: The State of the Commonwealth

Thursday 19 April 2018 (The British Library, London)

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Indigenous activists protest at the ‘Stolenwealth’ Games opening ceremony

(Deutsche Welle, 4 April 2018)

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Ethiopian Treasure


Looted Ethiopian treasures in UK could be returned on loan

 (The Guardian, 3rd April 2018)

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 Event: Maqdala 1868

Thursday 5 April 2018 – Sunday 30 June 2019 (Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

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Related link here


B L U E   P L A Q U E S

Blue Plaque

Women of Colour who have contributed to British history need to be acknowledged with blue heritage plaques

(The Metro, 10 February 2018)

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New memorial to British West Indies Regiment on Sussex coast

(Centenary News, 13 March 2018)

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F I L M   &   A R C H I V E S


Event: Film Screening & Q&A: Zerda and the Songs of Forgetting

Thursday 19 April 2018 (Mosaic Rooms, London)

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B U I L T   H E R I T A G E


Syrian Refugees Are Learning Stonemasonry to Rebuild Their Country

(Atlas Obscura, 28 March 2018)

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