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‘Moving from silence into speech is for the oppressed, the colonized, the exploited, and those who stand and struggle side by side, a gesture of defiance that heals, that makes new life, and new growth possible. It is that act of speech, of “talking back” that is no mere gesture of empty words, that is the expression of moving from object to subject, that is the liberated voice.’

– bell hooks, “Talking Back.” Discourse (1986), p. 128.

Talking Back interdisciplinary conference is an in-person conference that will be held in Nottingham, United Kingdom. It will form a prominent part of Transform, a city-wide collaborative and transformative endeavour involving major cultural organisations across Nottingham in summer 2024, led in partnership by New Art Exchange.

Reflecting on speech as a radical force against the systemic silencing of marginalised voices (hooks, 1989), we would like to invite proposals from writers, academics, creatives, and activists alike who are interested in exploring critical and creative approaches to decolonial activism, reclamations of culture and identity, and the transformative power of voice.

We invite contributions that explore marginalised voices, representations of dissent against western hegemony and rigid binaries, and resistance to silencing and structural oppression. We welcome critical and creative approaches to proposals from participants of all genders, racial groups, and faith groups.

The conference is free to attend and will take place at Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, England on Tuesday 25th June 2024.

The conference will be followed by an open-mic poetry and networking event, centred on the theme of ‘talking back.’


Suggestions include and are not limited to:

This conference is made possible by generous funding and support provided by Bonington Gallery and the NTU’s Postcolonial and Global Studies Research Group.