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7-21 July 2018

Festival Thetford and Punjab



“Join Essex Cultural Diversity Project for the Festival of Thetford & Punjab, marking the 125th anniversary of the death of Duleep Singh, the last Maharajah of the Punjab. The festival will be a cultural celebration, as well as an exploration of the story of Duleep Singh and his legacy. This includes Duleep Singh’s family, the political and cultural context of the time he was living, and how this has influenced Thetford and the surrounding area today. It is also a chance to further explore the under-appreciated links between Thetford and the Punjab due to this shared heritage.”

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10 July 2018

Ancestry Talks



Trailblazing author and family historian Paul Crooks captivates his audience with an account of how he traced his African forebears enslaved on a sugar plantation in Jamaica, 200 years ago. Paul was told that it would be impossible to trace records of slave-ownership let alone his African ancestors enslaved on plantations in Jamaica. “No one had tried because such records did not exist.” In the 1990’s, undeterred, he embarked on a journey of discovery that led from suburban North London to Jamaica and ultimately back to the Gold Coast of Africa; an effort that has brought him international recognition for his breakthroughs in African Caribbean genealogy research. By 1999, Paul had realised the slave Registers’ potential for researching Caribbean Ancestry and African Roots. Paul’s revelations preceded a flurry of inquiries into the slave registers and slave compensation records. The 1817 Slave Registers – Paul will: discuss how the slave registers can support exploration of Black Ancestry and self-identity; reveal what the registers reveal about the roots of British racism; the origins of the slave registers and how and how he discovered them; talk about his journey and how he traced his roots; create space for questions and answers. For more about Paul Crooks:

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10 July – 4 August 2018




Pluck. Productions in association with Park Theatre present the World Premiere of Alkaline. By Stephanie Martin. Directed by Sarah Meadows.

“’People love being in control, don’t you think? But you can’t control something you don’t understand.’ Sophie and Sarah have been best friends forever. Sophie is newly engaged to her fiancé Nick and wants to celebrate. Sarah also has a new fiancé, Ali, and some more big news – she has recently converted to Islam. One hot summer evening the two couples have a get together. Sophie is desperate to meet Ali and even more desperate to rescue her drifting friendship with Sarah. Sophie also wants to ask Sarah if she’ll take off her hijab for Sophie’s wedding – a headscarf ‘just won’t quite go’ with the other bridesmaids, and Sophie likes things to match. It’s all going well (ish) until an uninvited guest arrives with some news that turns the evening – and the couples’ lives – upside down. Alkaline is a play about faith, friendship and fear. A play about change, painful endings and new beginnings. Where does our duty lie? And do we ever dare to be different?”

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14 July 2018

Mandela Black Power



By Black History Studies and Decolonising the Archive to commemorate the Centenary of Nelson Mandela


12:00 – 13:15 – 10 Things You Did Not Know About Nelson Mandela Presentation with Children Activities presented by Decolonising The Archive

13:30 – 14:20 – “ACCUSED # 1: NELSON MANDELA” (2004) – 52 MINS

In June 1964, following one of the most significant political trials of the 20th Century, Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki (father of former President Thabo Mbeki) and four others were sentenced to life imprisonment for planning the overthrow of the Apartheid Government by military means. This acclaimed documentary recounts the untold story of the Rivonia Trial and features exclusive interviews with Nelson Mandela and all the surviving co-accused along with fascinating testimony from their defence lawyers and from members of the prosecution, intelligence services and defence forces of Apartheid South Africa. Trailer:

14:20 – 15:10 – Q & A with Pascale Lamche (Director)



16:30 – 18:00 – “THEMBA – A BOY CALLED HOPE” (2009) – 106 MINS

Themba is an inspiring and beautifully filmed original drama set predominantly in the spectacular Eastern Cape of South Africa. It is a moving story of a young Xhosa boy, who like so many boys the world over, dreams of following in the footsteps of his heroes and becoming a football star. Themba breathes and lives soccer but the reality in the rural round-hut village he calls home is very different from the life he dreams of. Themba’s community is ravaged by unemployment, poverty and HIV. He has to pursue his dreams by calling on his own endurance, courage and self-belief. On his road to self-discovery he finds out how pain, shame and prejudice can be temporary. Themba escapes a life of hardship and desperation to achieve footballing success at the highest level but his triumph is also a personal one, as he learns that illness can be managed and a normal life lived. Themba is much more than a soccer film, it’s a universal message of hope. Trailer:

18:00 – 18:45: Q&A


19:00 – 20:15 – WINNIE (2017) – 98 MINS

Winnie Mandela is one of the most misunderstood and intriguingly powerful contemporary female political figures. As her husband Nelson Mandela served out his sentence in prison, Winnie took centre stage before the world as the face of the African National Congress. She became an icon for an adoring but fickle public that first cast her as the Mother of the Nation, and then cast her down as a sinner. Unflinching in her pursuit of progress, history still paints Winnie as a supremely controversial figure, a victim turned perpetrator and looking to redress the balance, filmmaker Pascale Lamche offers a nuanced portrait of a woman condemned for her radical role in the liberation of her South African people under apartheid. Q & A with Pascale Lamche (Director)


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15 July 2018




“Within many mainstreams conversations we often see a disingenuous distinction made between class and race, pitting the two forces against each other. This is usually done to both derail attempts to build solidarity, and move attention away from Britain’s historic problems with race and racism. The discourses around Brexit were an obvious recent example of such tactics, with politicians and journalists highlighting the ways in which society must do more for the “white working class”. Yet “class” here is presented as a fixed identity, devoid of any material meaning. What does the above mean for working class people who are not white? There has never been a distinct, ethnically homogenous working class community or culture in Britain, and it is important to remember the ways in which people of colour have historically been apart of working class resistance. Also, this depiction of class being tied to “culture” and “whiteness” ignores the plight of working class communities living in the global south. Even outside of the quote-unquote mainstream a rift often occurs between those noting the importance of race and those talking up class, with one often heralded at the expense of the other. With all this in mind, we ask, what relationship does capitalism have with race and how do we resist recreating the logic of capitalism within our anti-racist organizing? This question is of particular importance if we consider the fact that colonialism was, in many regards, the process through which modern capitalism was forged. How can we overcome the often competing claims of race and class to understand the interconnected nature of race and capitalism to further a more coherent and united anti-capitalist politics? As Satnam Virdee has argued “if we are to ever forge a sustainable solidarity between the ethnically diverse proletariat in the imperialist core (as well as with those beyond), it is more than likely we will have to go through race, rather than around it.” This event will explore these themes and much more, across two panels examining why we continue to ponder whether it’s class or race and further how we can articulate a broader anti-capitalist movement. Speakers include: Kojo Koram (University of Essex), Will Stronge (Autonomy), Zaq Suffee (Researcher) Gargi Bhattacharyya (UEL), Kam Sandhu (Real Media). More TBA

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16 July 2018




For the fifth of our “Out-of-the-Box Thinking” series, co-hosted by GlobalNet21 and Conway Hall, join us for a discussion with David Wood, Indra Adnan and Dr Lina Dencik about whether the age of big data and artificial intelligence will mean the demise of democracy as decisions are taken over by the algorithms of big data and artificial intelligence. We have in the course of a single century built an entire society, economy and culture that run on information. Yet we have hardly begun to engineer data ethics appropriate for our extraordinary information carnival. If we do not do so soon, data will drive democracy, and we may well lose our chance to do anything about it. Well what can we do about it will be the subject of this meeting at Conway Hall. This will be one of the meetings that we are doing on Future Democracy together with the Conway Hall Ethical Society. This time the London Futurists will also join us so it should be a popular meeting. Speaking will be:

 David Wood is the Chair of the London Futurists, and Executive Director of the technoprogressive think-tank Transpolitica. David was one of the pioneers of the smartphone industry, and is now a renowned futurist commentator. He has a triple first class mathematics degree from Cambridge, and undertook doctoral research in the Philosophy of Science. In 2009 he was included in T3’s list of “100 most influential people in technology”. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in London since 2005, and a Fellow of the IEET (Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies) since January 2015.

Indra Adnan for over twenty years has been writing, consulting, network-building and event-organising in the international arena of soft power, conflict transformation and integral leadership.As founder and Director of the Soft Power Network, she works in both the public and private sphere advising on personal, local and global agency. She writes regularly for The Guardian and The Huffington Post and her e-books Soft Power Agenda and New Times are available on

Dr Lina Dencik is Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture. Her research interests broadly concern developments in media and technology and social and political change. She has published extensively in the areas of globalisation theory, activism and digital media. Currently, she is doing work in the areas of datafication and implications for understandings of social justice, looking particularly at the governance and experiences of resource-poor and marginalised communities. Lina is Co-Director of the Data Justice Lab

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18-22 July 2018




“Whose interests, experiences and perspectives are contained in the dominant conceptions of gender? What possibilities are created when Black women abandon gender? Programmed with sociologist Akwugo Emejulu (Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick), this five-day convening of artists, activists and academics focuses on contemporary Black feminist politics, examining the impossibility of Black women’s claims to womanhood and the new spaces that are created by a politics of refusal. Historically, Black feminism has identified that social stratifications such as race, gender, class, age, sexuality, disability and legal status do not exist separately from each other, but are interwoven. Inspired by the work of Black radical theorists such as Hortense Spillers, Saidiya Hartman, Christina Sharpe and Tina Campt, this convening takes as its starting point the proposition that gender is an antagonism for Black women because gender is constructed and reproduced in ways that can only name the experiences of certain kinds of women. Rather than seeking inclusion in gender relations that cannot account for Black women’s myriad experiences, Fugitive Feminism refuses the category of gender altogether, instead embracing a transgressive category of the fugitive – one who flees domination and joins with others to collectively construct a new liberation politics. Generating conversations across the diaspora and across generations, “Fugitive Feminism” brings together a range of thinkers and practitioners for a series of talks, film, performance and workshops.”

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