Black Europe Resources’ Pick of the WriteIdea Festival

15 November 2019

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Colin Grant – Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation
“When Colin Grant was growing up in Luton in the 1960s, he learned not to ask his Jamaican parents why they had emigrated to Britain. “We’re here because we’re here,” his father would say. ‘You have some place else to go?’ But now, seventy years after the arrival of ships such as the Windrush, this generation of pioneers is ready to tell its stories. Homecoming draws on over a hundred first-hand interviews, archival recordings and memoirs by the women and men who came to Britain from the West Indies between the late 1940s and the early 1960s. In their own words, we witness the transition from the optimism of the first post-war arrivals to the race riots of the late 1950s. We hear from nurses in Manchester; bus drivers in Bristol; seamstresses in Birmingham; teachers in Croydon; dockers in Cardiff; inter-racial lovers in High Wycombe, and carnival queens in Leeds. These are stories of hope and regret, of triumphs and challenges, brimming with humour, anger and wisdom. Together, they reveal a rich tapestry of Caribbean British lives. Homecoming is an unforgettable portrait of a generation which brilliantly illuminates an essential and much-misunderstood chapter of our history.”

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16 November 2019

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Ayisha Malik-Sofia Khan is Not Obliged

“Billed as the Muslim Bridget Jones, Sofia Khan is Not Obliged is a romantic comedy from the writer behind Nadiya Hussain’s best-selling The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters. Sofia Khan is single again, after her sort-of boyfriend proves rather too close to his parents. And she’d be perfectly happy, if her boss hadn’t asked her to write a book about the world of Muslim dating. Of course, even though she definitely isn’t looking for love, to write the book she does need to do a little research.”

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16 November 2019

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Kia Abdullah – Take it Back

“Kia Abdullah is an author and travel writer from Tower Hamlets. Her new novel, Take It Back, is a gripping courtroom drama in which a 16-year-old white girl accuses four Muslim classmates of something unthinkable. Described by The Guardian as “superb” and The Telegraph as “sparklingly intelligent”, Take It Back explores ugly divisions in British society. Kia will talk about the pressure to write positive stories, the dearth of working-class authors and going from free school meals to a two-book deal.”

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16 November 2019

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Spread the Word – Common People

“Riley Rockford, Elaine Williams, Adam Sharp and Loretta Ramkissoon are the four London-based writers who were selected to have their writing featured in Common People – an anthology edited by Kit de Waal and published by Unbound. Join them in conversation with Charlotte Hutchinson (Publicity Manager at Unbound), as they share their work, discuss their experiences and the importance of raising working class voices in publishing. This event is run in partnership with Spread the Word.”

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16 November 2019

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Mariam Khan – It’s Not About the Burqa

“Mariam Khan is editor of It’s Not About the Burqa. The book started life when Mariam read about the conversation in which David Cameron linked the radicalisation of Muslim men to what he called the ‘traditional submissiveness’ of Muslim women. As a counterblast, Mariam has compiled this collection of essays that explores the pressures of being a Muslim woman today. The collection has been described as: “incredibly important… passionate, angry, selfeffacing, nuanced and utterly compelling.”

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17 November 2019

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Common People: A Panel Discussion – Louise Doughty, Alex Wheatle and Eva Verde

“With half of all authors and writers coming from the middle class, compared to just 10% from working class backgrounds, Common People, a collection of original pieces by working class writers, is an attempt to redress the balance. Working class stories are not always tales of the underprivileged and dispossessed. Written in celebration, not apology, this anthology gives voice to perspectives that are increasingly absent from our books and newspapers. Common People ensures they are heard loud and clear as they reclaim and redefine what it means to be working class.”

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17 November 2019

Changing Tastes

Film: Changing Tastes— Whitechapel’s South Asian Restaurants – Mile End Community Project

We are delighted to present a short film, Changing Tastes which explores the history of the South Asian restaurant trade in Whitechapel. The palate is one of the best barometers of social change and Whitechapel’s history can be tracked though the menus of its restaurants. This film uses interviews with restaurant owners to capture a strand of this history, looking at how Bangladeshi and Pakistani eateries are changing and evolving. Made in partnership with UEL and the Survey of London.”

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17 November 2019

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Film: Movies, Memories, Magic

“A Documentary Film Movies, Memories, Magic is a dynamic new documentary exploring the vibrant history of South Asian cinema in London which, from the winding alleyways of Brick Lane to the bustling streets of Southall, shaped trends in music, food, fashion and politics. The film won a Queen Mary University Community Engagement Award in 2018, and has been screened in several cities from Johannesburg and Bangalore to Singapore. Don’t miss this opportunity to bring your own memories of cinema to this screening.”

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17 November 2019

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Gemma Romain – Patrick Nelson: Race, Sexuality and Identity in Britain and Jamaica

“Patrick Nelson, a queer Black man, came to Britain from the Caribbean in the 1930s. He was a valet, then studied law and worked as an artist’s model. He served in the army in 1940, was captured and was a prisoner of war for four years. After release he returned to Jamaica, experiencing the struggles for independence, before re-migrating to London. Gemma Romain explores themes in Nelson’s life including queer Bloomsbury (he was a boyfriend and then lifelong friend of artist Duncan Grant) and queer Black London.”

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Find out more about the Writeidea Festival here

Image Credits via Writeidea Festival

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