This October, we ran our Black History Month campaign with the theme 'Honouring our Roots and Creating our Futures'. The campaign was aimed at celebrating the culture, origins, histories and achievements of African and Caribbean communities.
It highlighted the power of feminism, addressed black masculinity challenges and showcased the talents of our creative students through spoken word poetry, arts and creativity workshops, natural hair showcase and dance.
At Bower Ashton, we facilitated 5 workshops, curated and led by our own creative black students on campus. This included:
- Afro-Futurism: What does the future look like to you?
- Creative Clarity: A long term answer to artistic doubts
- Black Fashion: Influence past and present
- Re-creating film workshop
- Visualising Dreams workshop
Poets in the City
The ‘Poets in the City’ event was held at Bower Ashton and in collaboration with the library we offered a chance for students to see established local poets such as Bristol’s first poet laureate, Miles Chambers, perform. We were also lucky to have along established poets, Lawrence Hoo, and Liz Myttton. The Urban collective also shared with us a couple poems from their book Lyrically Justified. We were also delighted to welcome back three performers, Pearl, Valerie, Antonette from the St Pauls based theatre company Breathing Fire.
In order to have an interplay with other disciplines we asked our art students to create an artistic response to these poems, which are currently on display in the Bower Ashton Library. This November, we are holding an auction to raise money from this artwork for a local community project.
This Hijabi Says
Creative writing and poetry workshops for female Somalian students. This was a series of three workshops lead by a local Poet and UWE Lecturer over the month – creating a safe space for female students to explore identity, faith and mental health.
Black Men and Masculinity
Powerful TedX speaker, Daniel Edmund, facilitated a 2-hour workshop for UWE male students and staff from African and Caribbean heritages exploring black masculinity, societal pressures, empowerment, and stepping into their full potential.
My Fro and Me: Natural Hair Showcase
A natural hair event where positive voices where echoed as we looked to embrace our distinct natural hair curls and kinks. This event was led by 2 UWE student volunteers.
We had the History of Natural hair talk, panel discussion and dance performance with a Fashion Show – showcasing Natural hair styles from the 60’s to this date. 150 people were in attendance – students from UWE and University of Bristol as well as local people from the community.
African Queens: Power and Feminism in African History
Showcasing the African Queen Exhibition project (photographed by students and organised by a UWE staff alumnus), this event followed an in depth history talk about the history of some of the Queens from by Dr Michelle from Black History Talks in London. This was a powerful event with 80 people attending including 22 students from a local Islamic Independent school.
Beyond Bilal: Black History in Islam
Guest lecture collaboration between UWE ISOC, Bristol ISOC and the Bristol University BME Network.