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The fourth segment of Formations, our year-long programme delivered in partnership with Nottingham Trent University’s Postcolonial Studies Centre, includes events in March and April under the thematic banner – Formation: DNA. The title ‘DNA’ signals identity, including scientific cataloguing practices, and medical inequalities in postcolonial contexts. Global medical history is replete with controversies over unequal medical practices, and currently, coronavirus death and illness adversely affects non-white and non-wealthy populations. Join us for conversations and workshops about identity, care, inequality, disease, and vaccination.

Conversation: Colonialism, Contagion and the Race to Vaccinate

Thursday 18 March 2021, 5 pm – 6 pm

In this conversation event, Sophie Fuggle (NTU) talks to Aro Velmet (University of Southern California) about the impact and meaning of disease and vaccination in the French colonies of the early twentieth century.

In the early decades of the twentieth century, bacteriologists working French colonies reimagined both the epidemiology and treatment of colonial tuberculosis. What once was seen as an ancient disease now became a European import. And treatment, which in the metropole was oriented around social hygienist practices, such as education, aeration of housing, handwashing, dispensaries and sanatoria visits, became in the colonies focused on one magic bullet: The BCG vaccine, first developed by the Pasteur Institute in 1924. This reimagining of the French “disease of civilization” had profound political consequences for colonial rule – mobilising colonial administrators to rethink their policies and anti-colonial activists from West Africa and Indochina to push for reform and call into question the fundamental tenets of the French “civilising mission”. This talk explores how bacteriological science shaped politics in a globally interconnected empire – from the hospitals of Saigon to colonial exhibitions and anti-colonial protests in 1930s Paris.

Click here to watch via our Youtube

Hero’s Journey Creative Writing Workshop with Eve Makis and Anthony Cropper 

Wednesday 31 March 2021, 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm & Wednesday 21 April 2021, 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm

Hero’s Journey Creative Writing Workshop (with free bespoke writing book) with Postcolonial Studies Centre writer-in-residence Eve Makis and scriptwriter Anthony Cropper.

The Hero’s Journey is a storytelling template developed by the academic Joseph Campbell and influenced by myths and legends. Taking inspiration from heroes in film, the environmental activist Erin Brockovich and Ron Stallworth in BlacKkKlansman, we’ll take a look at how it’s pinned together and how you can use the model to structure your own creative works. We’ll show you how to use your own life experiences to inform your work and make your characters as real and complex as you are.

All participants will receive a free copy of Odyssey – Finding Your Way Through Writing. ‘A roadmap for writing great stories – using your life as inspiration.’

All levels welcome. All participants will have the chance to get their work edited and included on a spoken word album, bringing their written work to life.

Conversation: Behind the Line – KARVAN meets Kwanzaa Collective UK to talk about CARE

Wednesday 28 April 2021, 5 pm – 6 pm

Who is caring for the carers?

The ONS have reported that over 60% of COVID-related deaths on the frontline have come from ethnic minority backgrounds, yet ethnic minorities only make up about 17% of the NHS – with Black people being only 6.1% of that. This disproportion generates a lot of questions that desperately need answers.

Working closely with five Black frontline workers and NHS staff, Kwanzaa Collective UK explored the question: “How do you do a job that involves caring for others, when you are working within a system that doesn’t care about you?”

They wanted to hear what Black frontline workers have experienced during the pandemic and over the course of their career, and to answer the question: “Who is caring for our carers?”

Using the words of the frontline workers and stories from several personal interviews, they compiled spoken word poetry, personalised ‘care packages’ for them, and captured a series of intimate, anonymised portraits.

Behind the line was funded as part of a B-arts (North Staffordshire) CARE R&D. The conversation is hosted by KARVAN: ‘together we travel’ of

Click here to watch via our Youtube