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When I Dare to be Powerful International Conference explores the idea of voice as an agent for change and act of resistance.

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Click here to reserve your ticket for the free in person conference

When I Dare to be Powerful International Conference will bring filmmakers, artists, writers and activists together with conceptual thinkers and cultural theorists to answer pressing questions relating to voice as an agent of change.

Centred on voice as a lens through which we conceive of a social alterity that undermines current ideological dominance, we would like to invite proposals from academics, practitioners and activists interested in exploring coming to voice as an act of resistance. Has adequate progress been made in remedying the lived experience of minoritised people? How will social parity be achieved? Can dissent facilitate a space from which an alternative, socio-cultural narrative can thrive?

When I Dare To Be Powerful one-day conference offers a packed programme of events running up to and including the conference itself:

The conference period begins on 26th April and runs through to the one-day conference in June. Join us in the conversations relating to voice, around which our one-day conference is based.

The conference is free to attend and will take place in person on Wednesday 21st June 2023.

Visit our When I Dare To Be Powerful website to find our more about the conference timetable.


Professor Gus John and poet Yolanda Lear join Jenni Ramone’s Black Writing in Britain students and Formations audiences for a special event on the history of New Beacon Books and its place in the history of Black British publishing, writing, and activism.

Gus John discusses publishing, decolonisation, and the contemporary university. Yolanda Lear reads and discusses her poetry, and both speakers engage in conversation with English and Creative Writing students at NTU.

FORMATIONS is a public events series which foregrounds under-represented artists, writers, thinkers, and activists, run by NTU’s Postcolonial Studies Centre and Bonington Gallery.

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Click here to reserve your spot at this free online event.


Somewhere Else Entirely is photographer Emily Andersen’s first completed video portrait and is inspired by her decade-long friendship with poet Ruth Fainlight. To coincide with the exhibition, Emily and Ruth will be joining us for a free in-conversation event, hosted by Duncan Higgins, Professor of Visual Art at NTU.

Discover how the artists’ relationship grew after a chance meeting, hear how Emily’s intimate video work was made and enjoy a special reading by Ruth.

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Emily Andersen has been a photographer for four decades. Her work includes interiors, architecture, and landscape but she is best known for her award-winning portraiture, capturing well-known faces including Nico, Peter Blake, and Helen Mirren. A number of her portraits are in the permanent collection of The National Portrait Gallery, London. She has won awards including the John Kobal prize for portraiture. She is a Senior Lecturer in photography at the Nottingham School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University.

Ruth Fainlight (b. New York City , 1931) is an award-winning poet and translator, whose collections have spanned five decades. Fainlight has lived in England since the age of 15, achieving success in fiction, translation and opera libretti as well as poetry. In 1959 she married the writer, Alan Sillitoe, and her many literary friendships included Sylvia Plath, Jane and Paul Bowles, and Robert Graves.  She became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2008.


This event will take place at Bonington Gallery. 

Book your free place now.

This event has now sold out, please email to be added to the reserve list


What truths are your poems telling? If not for the reality of your poems, what truths would never be spoken at all? In Poetry as Ferocity Workshop: Writing Your Truth with Radical Honesty, we’ll chart a course for radical honesty in verse, seeking to grow stronger roots for your poems to anchor themselves.

Focusing on work by female Caribbean poets Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné and Safiya Sinclair, we draw on their powerful subversion in writing. Using innovative exercises, we unlock the most potent ways to tell the truth our poems require.

Poets have always been political agitators, defenders of the right to wield uncomfortable truths. What truths do you bring to the table, ready and roaring to be told?

NOTE: This workshop is open to people aged 18 and over. This workshop involves discussion of potentially triggering content and strong language.


Shivanee Ramlochan is an Indo-Trinidadian poet, critic, and essayist, whose first poetry collection, Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting (2017), was shortlisted for the 2018 Forward Prize. Ramlochan’s next work, the creative non-fiction Unkillable, is forthcoming from Noemi Press in Autumn 2023. Shivanee is the Book Reviews Editor for Caribbean Beat Magazine and works closely with Bocas Lit Fest, the Caribbean’s largest literary festival.

This event will take place at Nottingham Contemporary

To correspond with Hollow Earth: Art, Caves & The Subterranean Imaginary all are warmly invited to Channelling Queer Depths: An Evening with Poet Shivanee Ramlochan. Shivanee will give readings from her ground-breaking collection Everyone Knows I am a Haunting (2017), followed by a conversation with PhD queer literary researcher, Tom Lockwood-Moran. A particular point of interest will be Shivanee’s upcoming work of creative non-fiction, Unkillable (2023) how a writer channels their queer self through dangerous, unorthodox and taboo subjects. This event will explore how and why poetry chisels beneath the world’s surface to expose queer depths, particularly informed by Shivanee’s experience of Trinidadian cultures and subcultures.

About the event

Free. Booking required.

We are unable to provide British Sign Language interpretation for this event.

This event is partnered with the Formations programme at Bonington Gallery and their free workshop Writing Your Truth with Radical Honesty with Shivanee on Wednesday 16 November.


Find information about getting here and our building access and facilities  here.

There are no audio descriptions for this event.

If you have any questions around access or have specific access requirements we can accommodate, please get in touch with us by emailing or phoning 0115 948 9750.

Safety during your visit

Due to COVID precautions, please do not attend this event if you/someone in your household is currently COVID-19 positive, has suspected symptoms, or is awaiting test results.

Staff and visitors are welcome to wear a face covering in all areas.


Shivanee Ramlochan is an Indo-Trinidadian poet, critic, and essayist, whose first poetry collection, Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting (2017), was shortlisted for the 2018 Forward Prize. Ramlochan’s next work, the creative non-fiction Unkillable, is forthcoming from Noemi Press in Autumn 2023. Shivanee is the Book Reviews Editor for Caribbean Beat Magazine and works closely with Bocas Lit Fest, the Caribbean’s largest literary festival.

Tom Lockwood-Moran is a PhD queer literary researcher, funded by Midlands4Cities (AHRC), writing his thesis in English Literature, entitled: ‘Queer Resistance(s): Contemporary Caribbean Communality’. Tom’s project is supervised by experts from both Nottingham Trent University and The University of Leicester. Thomas is currently an Hourly Paid Lecturer in Postcolonial Texts at NTU within English, Culture and Media.

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.