The October Dialogues 2015:Black Lives Matter:
The Past, Present and Future of an International Movement
for Rights and Justice
Nottingham Contemporary, The Space
October 28, 2015
Including an evening of hip hop performance and dialogues featuring
Akala, Dr. Monica Miller and Dr. James Braxton Peterson
#BlackLivesMatterThe rallying calls of a new movement have spread across the US and the UK. There have been over 1000 Black Lives Matter protests worldwide in the last two years and mobilisations in at least 10 UK cities. There are now 30 Black Lives Matter chapters across the United States. The movement responds to the oppression, violence and exclusion that shapes black lives: in the US, 42% of black children are educated in high-poverty schools, black Americans are 37% of the country’s homeless population, constitute nearly half of the 2 million jail population, and are 26% of those killed by police (though are 13% of the national population). In the UK, black children are more than twice as likely as white children to be living in poverty, black people are six times as likely as whites to be stopped and searched, are more likely to go to jail when convicted of similar crimes and will serve longer sentences, are twice as likely not to be in employment, education or training, and are more likely to be forcibly restrained when held under mental health legislation. “I Can’t Breathe” evokes the suffocating daily reality of all these statistics.
A series of panels featuring activists and researchers will explore the roots, dynamics and possible futures of #BlackLivesMatter. Is it a movement or a moment? A transatlantic or an American phenomenon? How does it operate on local, regional, national or international levels? How does it negotiate leadership? What characterises its rhetoric, visual culture and philosophies? Is it a new civil rights movement, a new Black Power movement or a new black feminism? What is its protest heritage – is there a usable past for Black Lives Matter? What should #BlackLivesMatterUK be about? What is the history of Black Lives Matter since the UK Race Relations Act and the US Civil Rights Movement of 50 years ago, and where is Black Lives Matter going next?
Free, complimentary lunch will be served, all are welcome, but seats are limited so please register for the day conference, the evening event or both.
All are welcome the evening before the conference at a publication launch and film night, where the Nottingham group Chat ‘Bout will launch a newspaper about racism, the criminal justice system and the role of women created in collaboration with artists Barby Asante and sorryoufeeluncomfortable, with a screening of films of the past and present looking at race, activism and social justice.
In addition, we will have a space at Nottingham Contemporary on the morning of October 29 from 9am-12pm for follow-on discussions that emerge from the conference, in a smaller-group “activist workshop” setting, to which all are welcome.