Dear Readers,

 Welcome back to the Black & Asian Heritage Mix Newsletter. This June 2019 issue invites you to learn more about two new books that refreshingly focus on “Black Europe” and not the USA. The first book is “Afropean” by TV presenter and photographer Johny Pitts, described by its publisher equally as “an alternative map of the continent” and “an on-the-ground documentary of areas where Europeans of African descent are juggling their multiple allegiances.”

The second book, titled “To Exist is to Resist” and edited by academics Akwugo Emejulu and Francesca Sobande, is an anthology written by several European Black feminists and Afrofeminists. It offers, as visual artist Jeannette Ehlers puts it, “crucial insights into what it means to navigate this region as a Black female body.”

 To what extent are these books long overdue? Britain’s erasure of its Black citizens undeniably revealed by the Windrush scandal, is still with us in many ways. Is continental Europe, even more in denial about is immigrant and African presence, including its “long-term” and “settled” communities? What does the general public even know about Black Europeans?

 While the decolonial movement “from below” is growing in the UK and other parts of Europe, the re-opening of Belgium’s Museum of Africa reveals however that the “decolonial turn” is not free of controversies and contradictions. These “paradigm shifts” have even prompted the creation of networks in the predominantly white British heritage academia, to “map” new changes in the UK.

 A place where not even “paradigm shifts” are occurring, is predictably in auction houses, where the Dollar ($) and Art cosily coalesce in “Eurocentric framing” and “mysterious descriptions”.

Admittedly, the art world makes most of us uneasy with its price tags. Is art however at its best when it disrupts our subjectivity and questions our humanity? In this context, was Venice’s Art Biennale right to “exhibit” the boat that capsized and drowned 700 migrants? As many of us did before, these migrants were only dreaming of a better life or just wanted to survive.


 Thushari Perera




Afropean: Notes from Black Europe

By Johny Pitts

Afropean Book by Johny Pitts

Image Credit: Afropean Book via Penguin


“Afropean: Notes from Black Europe extract – ‘it really was another world’”

By Johny Pitts

(The Observer, 26 May 2019)

Read the article/book extract here


“Afropean by Johny Pitts Review – Black Europe from the street up”

By Colin Grant

(The Observer, 2 June 2019)

Read the article here


Related Event: 13 June 2018

Book Launch of “Afropean”:  Notes from Black Europe with Johny Pitts  

(Standfords, London)

“Join us at Stanfords as award-winning writer and photographer Johny Pitts talks about his new book Afropean in which he sets out to explore the state of black culture and identity in Europe today. His lively, on-the-ground reporting documents the experiences of different communities, with Pitts travelling from his hometown of Sheffield to a Cape Verdean favela in Lisbon, an anti-Fascist demonstration in Berlin and the former Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow. Pitts talks to numerous Europeans of African descent who are juggling their multiple allegiances and forging new identities: he meets the lead singer of Zap Mama – a musical ensemble from Belgium whose roots are in African World Music – and Almany Kanoute – a political activist from Clichy-sous-Bois who reveals what’s really changed for black people in Paris since the 2005 riots. A celebratory, eye-opening and timely book interspersed with original photography, Afropean makes a necessary contribution to redefining what it means to be a European today.”

Find out more here


To Exist is to Resist: Black Feminism in Europe

Edited by Akwugo Emejulu, Francesca Sobande

To Exist is to Resist Black Feminism in Europe

Image Credit: To Exist is to Resist: Black Feminism in Europe Book via Pluto

“This book brings together activists, artists and scholars of colour to show how Black feminism and Afrofeminism are being practiced in Europe today, exploring their differing social positions in various countries, and how they organise and mobilise to imagine a Black feminist Europe. Deeply aware that they are constructed as ‘Others’ living in a racialised and hierarchical continent, the contributors explore gender, class, sexuality and legal status to show that they are both invisible – presumed to be absent from and irrelevant to European societies – and hyper-visible – assumed to be passive and sexualised, angry and irrational. Through imagining a future outside the neocolonial frames and practices of contemporary Europe, this book explores a variety of critical spaces including motherhood and the home, friendships and intimate relationships, activism and community, and literature, dance and film.”

Find out more here


Related Event: 12 June 2019

Book Launch of “To Exist is To Resist” 

(Housmans Bookshop, London)

“The Speakers: Dr Emejulu is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, whose work has been widely published. She focusses on political sociology, including inequalities across Europe and grassroots campaigns for women of colour. Francesca Sobande is a Lecturer in Marketing and Advertising at Edge Hill University and a Marketing PhD Candidate at the University of Dundee. Her research explores the representation of Black women in media markets, including their experiences as content producers and spectators. Jess Brough is a psycholinguistics PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. Jess is a Black feminist and a founding member of the Resisting whiteness collective, which aims to facilitate discussions of and strategies for anti-racist action.”

Find out more here


The Corner Shop: Shopkeepers, the Sharmas and the making of modern Britain

By Babita Sharma

The Corner Shop by Babita Sharma

Image Credit: The Corner Shop Book by Two Roads

“The Corner Shop by Babita Sharma Review – fags, mags and family life”

“Sharma’s nuanced exploration of British Asian life behind the counter is human and engaging”

By Nikesh Shukula

(The Observer, 26 May 2019)

Read the article here


“Hidden Sussex, a new anthology for Sussex: Fiction, non-fiction and poetry from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic experience”

Hidden Sussex Book by Writing Our Legacy

Image Credit: Hidden Sussex Book via Writing Our Legacy @BHwritinglegacy

By Amy Zamarripa Solis (Author), Georgina Parke (Author), Jenny Arach (Author), Sheila Auguste (Author), Alinah Azadeh (Author), Zaid Sethi (Author), Maggie Harris (Author), Umi Sinha (Editor), Colin Grant (Editor), Dean Atta (Editor)

“This new Writing Our Legacy anthology aims to debunk outdated but still current stereotypes of Black people through a reimagining of the Sussex landscape from the Black, Asian and minority ethnic perspective. Twenty-three contributors from across East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton tell their own stories and narratives. The anthology tells stories of many firsts – first trip to Afro-Caribbean hairdressers, first sexual awakenings, first visit to the Chattri Memorial. The writing also deals with middles and ends – raising children, solitary pursuits, and the deaths of friends and family. We are transported to local places of interest such as Cuckmere Haven and Brighton Pavilion, and also elsewhere – to Pakistan, India, Iran. Some authors deal with pressing issues of contemporary Britain, including Brexit and the Windrush scandal, while others cast their eye over history and the natural environment.”

Find out more here




Image Credit: purple_confetti via Pixabay

“CFP/Symposium – The New Museum Paradigm: Shifting Representations of Empire at Museums and Art Galleries in the UK”

“This symposium will mark the launch of a new postgraduate research network ‘Postcolonial Heritage Research Group’ which aims to put perspectives from researchers working on related questions in dialogue, by providing a common platform to share writings and ideas, propose events, while promoting complex and provocative research across a number of inter-related questions relating to representations of empire, colonialism, and slavery at museums and art galleries.”

Find out more here


“Belgium’s Museum of Africa Tries to Exorcise Ghosts of Colonialism”

Africa Museum Belgium

Image Credit: Africa Museum Belgium

By Henry Ridgwell

(Voice of America, 21 December 2018)

Read the article here




“I have seen the tragedy of Mediterranean migrants. This ‘art’ makes me feel uneasy”


Image Credit: pixel2013 from Pixabay

By Lorenzo Tondo

(The Observer, 12 May 2019)

Read the article here


 “How Auction Houses Can Improve the Ways They Describe Non-Western Art”

African Art 

Image Credit: Agnali from Pixabay

By Kelsey Ables

(Artsy, 13 May 2019)

Read the article here


“Get Up, Stand Up Now: Black British art’s response to the Windrush scandal”

By Colin Grant

(The Observer, 2 June 2019)

“A new exhibition celebrates black British creativity from the 1970s to the present day. Its curator discusses the show and talks us through eight key pieces”

Read the article here


Related event: 12 June – 15 September 2019

Get up stand up now, generations of Black creative pioneers  

(Somerset House, London)

Get Up Stand Up Zoe Bedeaux

Image Credit: Zoe Bedeaux via Somerset House

“A major new exhibition celebrating the past 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond. Beginning with the radical Black filmmaker Horace Ové and his dynamic circle of Windrush generation creative peers and extending to today’s brilliant young Black talent globally, a group of around 100 interdisciplinary artists will showcase work together for the first time, exploring Black experience and influence, from the post-war era to the present day.”

Find out more here




Please click here to find out how




“First ever photo archive of Asian Women and their cars to be launched”

Asian Women and Cars Blast

Image Credit: Artist Dawinder Bansal by Outroslide

By Asian Image reporter

(Asian Image, 17 May 2019)

Read the article here




Ladies Suit

Image Credit: FotografieLink from Pixabay

Change Studentship for a BAME student

(MA Curating Collections and Heritage)

New MA studentship award (a fees waiver and mentoring support scheme) open to a BAME individual who meets the necessary requirements/qualifications to join the 2019/20 cohort of the MA Curating Collections and Heritage course (a course run in partnership between the University of Brighton and Royal Pavilion & Museums.

Find out more here


BCA Pathways: Arts & Heritage – 9 July 2019

“BCA Pathways are a series of events run by Black Cultural Archives. As part of our commitment to our community, we are running events to help more people from the BAME communities find opportunities into the Heritage sector.

The day promises advice from an expert panel and workshops open to all including CV writing and interview skills. More details will be announced closer to the event.”

Find out more here




3-7 June 2019

UCL Festival of Culture 2019 – Black Europe Resources’ selection here


6 June 2019



Image Credit: rawpixel via Pixabay

Philosophers recently have become aware that there is a risk that Eurocentric biases in philosophical tradition may distort the scholarship of the broad academic theoretical work. To correct these biases — which have been critically denounced by the scholars from non-European continents — the postcolonial scholarship made an effort in deconstructing the European theoretical referents, as well as developing new theories. The aim of this conference is to offer an opportunity for the discussion of broad issues concerning the reconsideration of the classical western thought in the post-colonial era, that is, a revision of the dialogues and tensions among European and peripheral epistemologies. With this purpose, we plan to center the discussion in two foci. On the one hand, the deconstruction of the global influence of the European classical and modern epistemologies during the past few centuries; and on the other hand, their present critical reception via a ‘non-Eurocentric’ or decolonial view. We hope that the conference will contribute to the good understanding of the post-colonial and decolonial standpoints.

Find out more here


8 June 2019


Black and Brexit by Black Conscious Coventry

Image Credit: Black Conscious Coventry via Eventbrite

By Black Conscious Coventry

“An event exploring how Britain leaving the European Union will impact on the Black British Community. There has been a considerable amount of media attention on Brexit without a holistic assessment of what this means for Black Community in Britain. We want to encourage our community to be more politically conscious and to better understand the role politics plays on our community.”

Find out more here


11 June 2018


Gender Race Performance

Image Credit: via Eventbrite

By the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures

“2018 marked the 25th anniversary of the publication of Paul Gilroy’s pioneering The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Cambridge University Press). This conference aims to commemorate and dialogue with Gilroy’s seminal study, one that continues to serve as a reference point for scholars working on the intersection of the African diaspora, cultural production and issues of identity. The event will foreground the ongoing contribution of Modern Languages to studies of the Black Atlantic, encouraging approaches that privilege linguistic sensitivity and are open to multilingual understandings.”

Find out more here


11 June 2018


The Court as Archive

Image Credit: The Court as Archive via Australian National University

“This seminar will outline research conducted (with Professor Kim Rubenstein and Ann Genovese) for a recently completed project entitled ‘The Court as Archive: Rethinking the Institutional Role of Superior Courts of Record’. This project engages a unique investigation into the institutional purpose and civic responsibilities of courts through their archival role. While it has long been acknowledged that courts have constitutional and procedural duties to documents as a matter of law, this project asks what obligations courts have to care for those materials in a way that understands their public meaning and public value for the communities they serve, in the past, in the present, and for the future.”

Find out more here

Open Access to the book “The Court as Archive” here


12 June – 8 September 2019




Image Credit: dimitrisvetsikas 1969 via Pixabay

“A new photography exhibition exploring identity and immigration in modern Britain. Featuring stills and moving image, Kaleidoscope showcases the works of ten photographers born or based in Britain, many with family origins abroad including Hong Kong, India, Jamaica and Russia, and explores what it means and how it feels to live as an immigrant, or a descendant of immigrants, in Britain today. Co-curated by writer, Ekow Eshun and Creative Director, Darrell Vydelingum the exhibition forms a celebration of immigration in everyday life.”

Find out more here


14-16 June 2019


JLF at BL 2019

Image Credit: ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival at The British Library 2019

“ZEE JLF at the British Library returns to London for its sixth consecutive year to celebrate books, creativity and dialogue, creative diversity and varied intellectual discourse.

2019 speakers include Deepa Agarwal, Jeffrey Archer, Shrabani Basu, Gyles Brandreth, William Dalrymple, Christopher de Hamel, Marcus du Sautoy, Namita Gokhale, Tristram Hunt, Pico Iyer Amin, Jaffer Helena Kennedy, Yasmin Khan, Manisha Koirala, Ken Livingstone, Vayu Naidu Shashi Tharoor, Ruth Padel, Monisha Rajesh, Venki Ramakrishnan, Alex von Tunzelmann, Marina Warner and many more.”

Find out more here


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