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In the second instalment of our year-long Formations programme, delivered in partnership with Nottingham Trent University’s Postcolonial Studies Centre, we are pleased to announce our November and December events, under the thematic banner – Formation: Land, focusing on land, agriculture, landscape, and place. We will consider dispossession, migration, and ways the human and land interact, and we invite you to think about recent innovative writing about how humans are connected with the living environment and our heritage.

Valentina De Riso, ‘Indigenous-settler Relations in Canada and Land-Based Reconciliation in Lee Maracle’s Celia’s Song’

Wednesday 18 November 2020, 7 pm – 8.30 pm

Focusing on the context of Indigenous-settler relations in Canada, this talk considers the ways in which settler-colonialism damages the land and peoples’ relationships to it through exploitation and policies of assimilation, dispossession, and forced relocation aimed at erasing Indigenous identity. Drawing from Lee Maracle’s novel, Celia’s Song, and from Indigenous philosophies of relationality that posit a complex system of relations between peoples and more-than-human beings (animal, plants, ecosystems), Valentina explores how restoring sustainable relationships to the Earth is crucial for establishing and maintaining peaceful relationships between Indigenous peoples and settlers in Canada.

Click here to watch via our Youtube

Book launch: Jenni Ramone, Postcolonial Literatures in the Local Literary Marketplace: Located Reading

Tuesday 8 December 2020, 6.30 pm – 8 pm

Interviewed by Bethan Evans, AHRC Midlands 4 Cities funded doctoral candidate at NTU.

In this event, Jenni discusses the significance of reading for understanding place (Cuba, Nigeria, the UK, and India), and some of the fascinating publishing and reading locations explored in the book. You can purchase a copy of the book here.

Click here to watch via out Youtube

Landscape Writing: Creative Writing Workshop with NTU’s Postcolonial Studies Centre writer-in-residence Eve Makis

Wednesday 25 November 2020, 6.30 pm – 8pm

Join a session with Eve Makis exploring urban and rural landscape writing. Learn how to evoke a landscape using your senses, taking inspiration from the works of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Elif Shafak. All levels welcome.

Eve Makis is the author of four novels, a life-writing guide, and an award-winning screenplay. She teaches fiction on the MA Creative Writing course at Nottingham Trent University, where she is writer in residence for the Postcolonial Studies Centre.

All participants will get the chance to have their work edited and included in a planned NTU anthology.

Longing to Belong: student-led conference on ‘Belonging’

Wednesday 9 December, 9.30 am – 4.30 pm

Join us for a conference curated by a collective of second year NTU English students, centred around Elizabeth-Jane Burnett’s The Grassling.

The title of the conference, ‘Longing to Belong’, raises questions surrounding our relationship with the term ‘belonging’. It focuses on writers from the diaspora, as we believe that their relationship with belonging is a unique and under-represented experience. Featuring three guest speakers; Eve Makis, Panya Banjoko and Helen Cousins.

Click here to watch via our Youtube

From Brixton to Jamaica with the acclaimed novelist Alex Wheatle – in conversation with Eve Makis

Thursday 10 December 2020, 6.30 pm – 7.30 pm

Eve Makis will be interviewing Alex Wheatle about his recently published YA fiction book, The Cane Warriors.

A prolific writer, Alex has had success in many forms including lyrics, poetry, short stories, plays and novel writing for adults and children. His work has been influenced by Brixton, where he grew up, his Jamaican heritage, and his experiences of living in the Shirley Oaks Children’s Home. He developed a hearty reading habit during his time in prison after the Brixton riots and has never looked back. Alex’s latest Young Adult novel, The Cane Warriors, published to critical acclaim in October, is based on the true story of a slave uprising on a sugar cane plantation in Jamaica in the 1700s. In 2008, Alex was awarded an MBE for services to literature and later won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize for his book, Crongton Knights.

Alex’s life story was filmed as part of the mini-series, Small Axe, created and directed by Steve McQueen (director of Twelve Years a Slave) and shown on BBC One last Sunday.

Click here to watch via our Youtube

Nottingham Black Archive was founded in 2009 by Panya Banjoko with the aim of researching, collecting and preserving Black history, heritage and culture in Nottingham, from the earliest time to the present day. The collection consists of artefacts donated by the community and interviews collected through project work. Today, the archive holds a growing collection of oral histories, photographs, articles, and books dating back to the 1940s.

In 2012, Nottingham Black Archive began to document the experiences of those who came from the Caribbean to England during the Windrush period. Journeys to Nottingham is a collection of narratives, photographs, and ephemera from people who travelled from the Caribbean to Nottingham during the Windrush era. It is a snapshot of why they came, what they did, and where they worked on their arrival to the city.

Beyond the materials featured in this exhibition, there are full oral history interviews which are housed within Nottingham Black Archive and serve as a record to mark the journeys of people from the Caribbean to England.

Panya Banjoko is a UK-based writer and poet whose work has been published in various anthologies. Banjoko is currently completing a PhD at Nottingham Trent University that focuses on Politics in Poetry and the Role of African Caribbean Writers and Networks in the 1970s and 80s. She has performed widely, including at the 2012 Olympic Games, coordinates a Black Writers network, and is a patron for Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature.