Past Events

marikiscrycrycry, $ELFIE$ at Fierce, 2017, photo by Manuel Vason
Lecture & Seminar

Strategies of Ecological Witnessing
Imani Jacqueline Brown

Lecture: 24 May 2021

Seminar: 25 May 2021


For our final event of the 20/21 academic year we welcomed Imani Jacqueline Brown to The Glasgow School of Art to deliver an online lecture and accompanying seminar considering her research into environmental racism in Louisiana.


What does it mean for Black people to fight for the rights of nature while we are still fighting for our basic human rights? How can a practice of exposing the segregative fissures driven through existence hold space for humble rituals of repair?


In this lecture and seminar, Imani discussed her investigations into environmental racism in Louisiana through a carefully cultivated research praxis incorporating: counter-forensics (combining innovative technology and grassroots wisdom to investigate state and corporate crime), cartographic unraveling (tracing lines of accountability through corporate succession), and autonomic research (a hybrid practice of remote and intimate sensing through the experience of being in and becoming place).

Imani Jacqueline Brown is an artist, activist, researcher, and writer from New Orleans. Her work investigates the continuum of Extractivism, which spans from colonial genocide and slavery to Cancer Alley, coastal erosion, and climate change.

In exposing the layers of violence and resistance that structure US society, Imani frees up space to imagine a path to ecological reparations. Among other things, Imani is currently a researcher with Forensic Architecture.


Image (Top): Imani Jacqueline Brown, Oil access canals and marsh restoration in the Lafitte Oil Field, Jefferson Parish, Lousisiana, 2019.

Flight courtesy of SouthWings and HealthyGulf.

Image (Bottom): Imani Jacqueline Brown, Old Gods, 2021. Framed and reflected chart of permits for coastal development, including oil and gas wells, flowlines, pipelines, and access canals in Quarantine Bay, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana (1920-2020), mapped against antebellum Public Land Survey System (PLSS) charts (1820s-1860s). The PLSS was the first US system to plat, or divide, territory into parcels of private property.



Prof. Carol Tulloch

Tuesday 27th April 2021

Curating and writing are key

thinking and making practices for me. 

I rely on their interdependence. 

They contribute to my sense of self. 

Objects and the right to be are the drivers. 

How did I get here?



Race, Rights & Sovereignty collaborated with GSA's Department of Design, History and Theory to welcome Professor Carol Tulloch to The Glasgow School of Art.


Professor Tulloch is a writer, curator and Professor of Dress, Diaspora and Transnationalism at the University of the Arts London based at Chelsea College of Arts. She is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Her recent work includes ‘Style Activism: The Everyday Activist Wardrobe of the Black Panther Party and Rock Against Racism Movement' in Fashion and Politics (2019), co-editor of The Persistence of Taste: Art, Museums and Everyday life After Bourdieu (2018), the exhibition Jessica Ogden: Still (2017), the monograph The Birth of Cool: Style Narratives of the African Diaspora (2016), the book and exhibition Syd Shelton: Rock Against Racism (2015).


A Riot of Our Own Exhibition, CHELSEA Space, London, 1 July–2 August 2008, Image Courtesy C. Tulloch

Digital Colonialism:

The Threat of Neutrality

Libby Odai
28 January 2021

Online via Zoom

Technology is often touted as a “neutral tool” but how does this “neutrality” become a form of oppression? 


This lecture by Libby Odai, offered audiences an introduction the history and manifestations of digital colonisation, its future and digital resistance.


From guns to AI, missionaries to influencers, phrenology to facial recognition. Looking at the “Tools of Empire”, Libby Odai linked the methods of colonial past to the present, exploring the techonological advancements and their relationship and role in the neocolonial digital presents. 

RRS_L Odai_seminar crop.jpg

Image courtesy Libby Odai


Decolonising the

Digital Self

Libby Odai
2 February 2021

Online via Zoom

This seminar provided an opportunity to unpack and discuss ideas explored in the lecture Digital Colonialism: the threat of neutrality. Participants explored strategies for decolonising our digital selves through informal group discussion and an introduction to subversive techniques that can aid in decolonising digital diets.

Libby Odai is a creative technologist based in Glasgow, developing and producing digital sculpture and performance with digital elements. She has previously produced digital works shown at Dancebase Edinburgh, The University of Edinburgh, Plat:form and the Swap Market in Govanhill. 


Her work focuses on bringing digital concepts into the physical world. By breaking down barriers in technology, blending traditional arts such as dance and crochet with high tech components, she brings tech to new more diverse audiences. Her work aims to bridge the STEM gap as well as exploring the creative applications of new technology. 


Knocking on the Door: Complaints and Other Stories about Institutions

Sara Ahmed
16 February 2021


In this lecture, Sara Ahmed shared some stories of making complaints about abuses of power at universities. She showed how complaints can bring so much about institutions into view. The lecture attended to how and why doors come up in stories about making complaints. It concluded with a consideration of the work of "complaint collectives" and how, by complaining, we can keep "knocking on the door" of institutions not in order to demand entry, but to cause disturbance.


Sara Ahmed is an independent feminist scholar and writer. Her work is concerned with how power is experienced and challenged in everyday life and institutional cultures. Her book Complaint! is forthcoming with Duke University Press in September 2021.  Her previous publications include What's the Use: On the Uses of Use (2019); Living a Feminist Life (2017), Willful Subjects (2014), On Being Included (2012), The Promise of Happiness (2010), Queer Phenomenology (2006), The Cultural Politics of Emotion (2014, 2004), Strange Encounters (2000) and Differences that Matter (1998).  


Image courtesy Sara Ahmed

Performance Lecture + Discussion

Afrofuturism and Spacial Practices

UMBILIC, 2020 (work in progress), 3D Object, courtesy Natasha Ruwona

Natasha Ruwona

Wednesday 16th September 2020,
17:00 - 18:30
Online via Zoom

Race, Rights and Sovereignty welcomed

Natasha Thembiso Ruwona to present a new chapter of their ongoing research Afrofuturism + Spatial Practices that employs Afro-Futurism as a tool for exploring and imagining the formation of new worlds. Originally created for Rhubaba Gallery & Studio’s No School! program, Natasha has further developed the performance lecture and this iteration will feature reflections that consider music, sound and technology as being a part of Black geographical landscapes, while exploring dreams and what it means to be a myth.


The performance lecture was followed by a group discussion led by Natasha in which participants had the opportunity to collectively engage with the themes of the performance and consider provocations that aimed to unearth potential links within participants’ own practices.


Natasha Thembiso Ruwona is a Scottish-Zimbabwean artist, researcher and curator.  Natasha’s artistic practice is research based and investigates racialised spatialisation (in line with Black Feminist Geographies) via the processes of writing, digital art and performance. 


Natasha completed a curatorship for Africa in Motion Film Festival 2019 and was Film Hub Scotland's New Promoter for Glasgow Short Film Festival.  They are a Project Coordinator for the collective UncoverED, based at The University of Edinburgh - a student-led project researching into the global and imperial history of the university and how this relates to the current ways in which the university as an institutional space oppresses BIPOC.  Natasha is also an Assistant Producer for movement researcher Claricia Parinussa and a Committee Member at Rhubaba Gallery & Studios.

This event took place as part of Freshers Week 2020: Digital Edition

 Artist Talk

Tako Taal

Thursday 10th Septemer,
16:00 - 17:00
Online via Zoom

At stake in Taal's artistic practice are the psychic structures of colonial relations, and the question of how vivid they remain in the present. She was a 2019 RAW Academy fellow at RAW Material Company, Dakar and a Committee Member at Market Gallery, Glasgow, 2016-18. Recent screenings and exhibitions include, Tramway TV, Glasgow Short Film Festival, Glasgow Women's Library, Grand Union, (Birmingham) Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival and LUX (London.) She lives in Glasgow.


For our first event of the academic year, we presented a talk by artist, filmmaker and programmer Tako Taal, who is currently a resident at Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh.

Residue, slide film, 2018, image courtesy Tako Taal.

This event took place as part of Freshers Week 2020: Digital Edition.


The Beauty of Islamic Geometric Design

Dhiman Sengupta

Monday 2nd December 2019,
18:30 - 19:30
Club Room, CCA Glasgow,
350 Sauchiehall Street, G2 3JD

Race, Rights and Sovereignty presented a talk by Dhiman Sengupta who was visiting Glasgow from the National Institute of Design (NID), India as part of an Erasmus+ Programme. Dhiman is a faculty member in the Communication Design department at NID.

This talk was an introduction to the world of Islamic Geometric Design, and will outline some of the underlying geometry and symmetry principles which have been used for centuries by craftsmen and designers in the Islamic tradition to create a plethora of designs of exquisite beauty and workmanship. It broke down and analysed some of the common designs found in this tradition in terms of basic geometric shapes and then re-created designs in a step-by-step manner to demonstrate how such a design can be created from scratch. The intention was to encourage attendees to look and seek out such designs with renewed interest and understanding.

Dhiman Sengupta graduated from NID in 1999 in the stream of Animation Film Design. He has worked in Mumbai and Delhi, for a decade in the areas of e-learning, broadcast and motion graphics, and visual effects. Dhiman has been teaching for a decade in the Animation Film Design department; he has been the Discipline Lead for the last 5 years.


Dhiman is a music, comic book, geometry, origami and film enthusiast. Among the courses taught by him are Storyboarding, Comic Book, Time & Image, Sound Design, Music Appreciation and Geometric Construction for the Design Foundation Programme.


He is a voracious reader, poet, musician, artist, and illustrator. Dhiman loves sketching people and architecture; his sketchbook is his constant companion. He is fascinated by Islamic Geometric Design and its manifestations through History which he attempts to share and teach through his Geometry lectures.


Mother I’m Suffocating, This is My Last Film About You  

Dir: Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese

English and Hebrew with English subtitles | 1h16m | 15
Monday 28th October 2019,
18:00 - 20:00
Reid Auditorium, The Glasgow School of Art
167 Renfrew St, Glasgow, G3 6RQ

Free, but ticketed.

See Africa In Motion website to book.


Africa In Motion Film Festival 2019 present this experimental essay film which traces a narrative of migration by a filmmaker in exile, showing a stark snapshot of life on the African continent. Beautifully shot entirely in black and white, Mosese uses powerful close-ups to portray the memories of a generation of people in Lesotho. This poetic voyage traverses between politics, identity and collective memory as a woman bearing a wooden cross on her back sets the trail for a fierce lamentation. The film is a bid of farewell to his homeland, infused with love and rage and exploring the complexities of leaving a place you have called home. 



Lisandro Suriel | Ghost Island: Exploring Decolonial Imagination

Wednesday 23rd October 2019,
12:30 - 14:30
CCA Cinema, 350 Sauchiehall St G2 3JD

“Who am I? Where do I come from? Where does my story begin? I find myself marooned on an island in a state of amnesia. Here, the only thing I can remember is that I am Black.” 


Tilting Axis 2019/20 fellowship recipient, artist Lisandro Suriel welcomed audiences to Ghost Island, an ongoing project exploring the relationship between imagination and decolonization. Ghost Island came to be when the Ethiopian sea changed its name to the Atlantic Ocean and displaced a plethora of memories. Lisandro Suriel is a photographer, born and raised in Saint Martin, an island in the Dutch Caribbean, whose work responds to magic surrealism, fiction and dreamscapes. Initially studying at the Academy of Art in The Hague, he received his Masters in Artistic Research and Art Studies from the University of Amsterdam, with his graduate thesis analysing early 20th-century illustrations of Caribbean mythology in relation to cultural aphasia. 


Offering up a much-needed subaltern perspective on postcoloniality and deconstructing the Black imagination, Suriel challenges orthodox institutions of knowing that perpetuate a hegemonic paradigm. What does it mean to decolonize? And where do we begin?



This event was presented as part of The Tilting Axis Fellowship in collaboration with the Race, Rights & Sovereignty Series.


The Tilting Axis Fellowship is a direct outcome of the Tilting Axis meetings in 2015 at Fresh Milk in Barbados, in 2016 at the Pérez Art Museum Miami and in 2017 at The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, and follows on from the inagural fellowship in 2017 awarded to Jamaican curator Nicole Smythe-Johnson. For its 2019 iteration, Scotland based cultural partners including the Glasgow School of Art, The School of Art History at the University of St Andrews, CCA Glasgow, LUX Scotland, Hospitalfield, the British Council, and curatorial duo Mother Tongue came together to offer a research fellowship in Scotland for an emerging contemporary art practitioner living and working in the Caribbean to share knowledge around current approaches towards commissioning and collecting in the arts. This Fellowship focuses on the development of pragmatic and critical curatorial and artistic practice hailing from the Caribbean region and is research and practice-led, and mentor-based. Selected recipient Lisandro Suriel will spend the month of October between Glasgow, Dundee, St. Andrews and Edinburgh.

unnamed_courtesy the artist, Lisandro Mu

Image courtesy Lisandro Suriel


Video Still, Larry Achiampong, The Expulsion, Single Channel 4K Video with Stereo Sound, 2019

A lecture by artist Larry Achiampong presented in collaboration with The Gallow Gate, Glasgow and supported by GSA's Department of Design, History and Theory.

Larry Achiampong's solo and collaborative projects employ imagery, aural and visual archives, live performance and sound to explore ideas surrounding class, cross-cultural and post-digital identity.


With works that examine his communal and personal heritage – in particular, the intersection between pop culture and the postcolonial position, Achiampong crate-digs the vaults of history. These investigations examine constructions of ‘the self’ by splicing the audible and visual materials of personal and interpersonal archives, offering multiple perspectives that reveal entrenched socio-political contradictions in contemporary society.

In this lecture, Achiampong retraced his work to date with a particular focus on the process and development of his most recent work, 'The Expulsion', which was a solo presentation at The Gallow Gate in Glasgow.





Commissioned by The Gallow Gate, the work highlights the rich interior world of an unnamed migrant with references to themes of race, class and gender. Achiampong invokes the energy and memories of a pre-gentrified 1990s east London; weaving testimonies and daydreams with the monotonous rhythms of physical labour and the weight of frustrating consumerist aspirations in the city's West End.

Achiampong guides us through to a shadow world of “invisible” workers by transmuting the common acts of cleaning and maintenance into something that has the power of the rituals of prayer or a sequence of launch codes. Each repetition evokes an attempt to reach apotheosis, to leave the loop or at the least; shake off the signifiers of difference and poverty.

In partnership with GSA Library, a number of books and texts selected by Larry Achiampong, The Gallow Gate and GSA Staff, were displayed in the GSA library foyer, available for students and staff to read and borrow.

'The Expulsion' by Larry Achiampong ran until Sunday 29 September 2019 at The Gallow Gate (Many Studios, 3 Ross Street, Glasgow, G1 5AR). 


Larry Achiampong

Thursday 26th September 2019,
18:00 - 20:00
Reid Auditorium, The Glasgow School of Art
167 Renfrew St, Glasgow, G3 6RQ

Cooking Pot:

Khichdi / Kedgeree: Part II

Wednesday, 26th June 2019,
12:30 - 14:30
CCA Clubroom, Centre for Contemporary Art, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD

Race, Rights and Sovereignty in partnership with CCA Cooking Pot, presented a demo-led cookery class, followed by a hands on cookery section with a talk and conversation throughout.

This was the final event in the two-part Khichdi / Kedgeree: Food Culture inTransnational Identities series, that explores the role food, food cultures and heritage ingredients play in transnational identity formation. This session took the form of a cookery class led by Sumayya Usmani, through which the preparation of a variety of dishes, was used to ignite collective conversations around food cultures, exchange, complex histories and how they impact cuisines and shape relationships to food. Usmani’s focus was the migratory nature of ingredients and dishes.

Kaleyard Image courtesy: Sumayya Usmani


Sumayya Usmani is a food writer and cookery teacher who grew up in Pakistan, she moved to London in 2006, where she lived for ten years ago. Sumayya quit her twelve year City law career to follow her passion for sharing the flavours of her homeland with a view to highlight Pakistani cuisine as a distinct one. The author or two award-winning and award nominated cookbooks: Summers Under The Tamarind Tree (Frances Lincoln 2016) and Mountain Berries and Dessert Spice (Frances Lincoln 2017), her writing reminisces about food and memories growing up in Pakistan and Sumayya advocates cooking by "andaza", (sensory and estimation cooking), which is how she learnt to cook from her mother and grandmothers; from a very young age.

Sumayya has worked with some of the biggest names in the food world, including Madhur Jaffrey, Sophie Grigson, Rachel Allen and Vivek Singh. She appeared in many print magazines like Delicious, Olive, BBC Good Food (naming her the go-to expert in Pakistani food), Saveur, New York Times,  Food 52, Telegraph and has also done a residency for four weeks for The Guardian Cook supplement. Sumayya has been on Good Food Channel (with Madhur Jaffrey), BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour and Saturday Live, as well as BBC Radio 2, BBC Asian Network and BBC Worldwide. Sumayya is soon to appear on BBC Radio 4's Kitchen Cabinet panel with Jay Rayner in April 2018. Sumayya had appeared in some of the world's top literary festivals as well as Ballymaloe, River Cottage and dome demos at Borough Market. Sumayya also hosts many pop-up events and supper clubs and has worked with top restaurants in the UK.


Sumayya is an experienced cookery teacher who has been teaching for over five years at Divertimenti London, Demuths Bath, Oxford's Jericho Kitchen, Sophie Grigson's, Edinburgh New Town Cookery School and many others. Sumayya is the founder of 'Kaleyard: Cook-Eat-Share', in Glasgow, a social enterprise cook school and community cafe project that aims to bring people together irrespective of who they are and get them cooking good food from scratch, while sharing stories, recipes and celebrating the power of togetherness that food is all about.

Reading Group 

GSA Library Reading Group: Image Representation

Thursday, 9 May 2019, 17:30 - 19:30
Quiet Study Space, GSA Library

Race, Rights and Sovereignty, in partnership with the GSA Library, presents this series of three reading groups unocovering and examining a number of books in GSA's historical collections (mainly dating from the 19th century) that are written from paradigms that we would be critical of today, many with a colonial outlook. In these reading and discussion groups, we will explore and interrogate these selected texts collectively in order to deconstruct and consider how we can engage with these texts today, and where they are situated within contemporary libraries and archive holdings. 

In this first reading group, we will examine the role of image representation in colonial texts and its impact on imaging in contemporary society. The following historical and contemporary works will be used as a starting point for the discussion: 

Edy-Legrand (1919): Macao et Cosmage: ou l'Experience du Bonheur

This book for French children was published in November 1919, when Edouard Leon Louis Legrand (known as Edy-Legrand) was just 18. The book presents a very colonial view of territories in which life is depicted as invariably happy and tranquil.

Ethel Larcombe (c.1914): Lollypop Lays

Children's cloth-book featuring rhymes and songs illustrated by Ethel Larcombe (1876-1940).

Alexander Rowland (1853): The human hair, popularly and physiologically considered

Describes and classifies human hair according to several 19th century 'divisions of man'.

Kara Walker (1997): Freedom, a fable: a curious interpretation of the wit of a negress in troubled times. 


Kara Walker, Freedom, a Fable: A Curious Interpretation of the Wit of a Negress in Troubled Times, 1997. Edition of 4000. Image courtesy of the GSA Library Special Collections.

Ayesha Hameed.jpg

Ghost ship off the south-eastern coast of Barbados, 2018. Image courtesy Dr S Ayesha Hameed

Performative Lecture
23 April 2019, 18:30
The Assembly Hall, GSA Students' Association

On April 29, 2006, a twenty-foot boat was spotted off the south-eastern coast of Barbados. On board, eleven bodies were found by the coastguards, preserved and desiccated by the sun and salt water. The ghost ship was adrift for four months on the Atlantic Ocean. It set sail on Christmas day in Praia in the Cape Verde Islands, full of migrants from Senegal, Guinea Bissau, and Gambia, en route to the Canary Islands. Each of these men paid £890 for their place on the boat. Four months later, the boat was found on the coast of Barbados.

This is an 'inadequate telling' of this story that draws on the materials and tools at hand to make sense of the complicity of weather, ocean currents and state violence in the journey of this ship. Hovering between the film and the essay form is a questioning of the adequacy of the measuring of histories and affects connected to crossing, languages to make evident the materiality of the sea, and the both measurable and immeasurable horror contained in the figure of the ghost ship.


Ayesha Hameed's moving image, performance and written work explore contemporary borders and migration, and visual cultures of the Black Atlantic. Her projects Black Atlantis and A Rough History (of the destruction of fingerprints) have been performed and exhibited internationally. She is the co-editor of Futures and Fictions (Repeater 2017), and is currently the Programme Leader for the MA in Contemporary Art Theory in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths University of London. 

This event was delivered in partnership with LUX Scotland.


School of Fine Art Friday Event

and Race, Rights and Sovereignty present:

Bisi Alimi

On Becoming a Black Gay Man in the UK

22 March 2019, 11:00
Glasgow Film Theatre

Harvey Dimond (visual artist, programmer, co-founder of the GSA POC Collective and third year Fine Art Photography student) programmed this lecture as part of the Race, Rights and Sovereignty series for the School of Fine Art Friday Event.

Bisi Alimi is an "Angelic Troublemaker Incarnate" - PASSIONATE and ENERGETIC public speaker, storyteller, television pundit, campaigner, actor and Vlogger.

His expertise on Social Justice ranges from Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to Race and Race Relations, Feminism, Education and Poverty Alleviation. He has done a lot of work around "Intersexuality" and is currently on a global Intersectionality tour. 

He has written many controversial opinion pieces including; “Men cant be Feminist”, “I am no longer talking to Black Africans about Race”, “Why It’s So Dangerous To Pretend That Racism Doesn’t Exist” and many others. “The Development Cost of Homophobia” is his most successful article that was translated into over 15 languages globally. Finally, His article for the Guardian: “If you say being gay is not African, you don’t know your history” has gone on to great review and cited in many news articles and journals globally.

His collection of poems includes: “a note to my father”, “The answer is always there”, and his published poem “I told them a tale”.


In 2004, he came out as gay on national television in Nigeria making him the first ever Nigeria LGBT person to do so.


Bisi Alimi was a visiting lecturer to both Freie University and Humboldt University both in Berlin where he was teaching “Pre and Post Colonial Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Africa”

He also serves on the board of Stonewall Housing, AllOut and None On Record.

He has appeared on international TV stations as a social and political pundit, including, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and CCTV, and outlets like NPR and the Washington Post has profiled him.

His TEDx talk, “There should never be another Ibrahim” has been listed as one of the 14 most inspiring QUEER TEDtalk of all time. Alimi gave the closing speech at the Daily Beast event hosted at the New York Public Library titled, “I am Bisi Alimi and I am not a victim.”


He is currently working on his memoir “The Boy from Mushin” with a full length film launching next year.


He consulted for World Bank on Economic impact of Homophobia and served on the Bank advisory board on SOGI. He is a fellow of Salzburg Global LGBT Forum and New Voices at the Aspen Institute.

He was second runner-up for Campaigner of the Year at the European Diversity Award 2016, a shortlist for Diversity Role Model- LGBT for the National Diversity awards in 2015 and 2017 and a shortlist for Roberta Cowell Gay Times Honour.

Listed 19 most important LGBT person in UK 2015 and was number 68 on the World Pride Power List 2017.


He is the founder and Director of Bisi Alimi Foundation. In 2005, he founded The Initiative for Equal Rights and in 2012, was a founding member of Kaleidoscope Trust in the UK.


He lives in London with his husband.

Bisi Alimi.jpg

Image courtesy Bisi Alimi.

Seminar + Workshops
March 14 2019, 13:00-18:00
Kinning Park Complex

Throughout this full-day set of discussions and workshops, we looked at how food, food culture and heritage ingredients play a role in transnational identities. The event toke place at Kinning Park Complex, a community hub in the Southside of Glasgow. The day began with a discussion around notions of identity, and how food culture shapes, preserves or communicates these ideas, as well as getting to know the individual practitioners and how they negotiate these ideas through their various practices.

The initial introduction was followed by a breakout into smaller workshops, where there were opportunities to explore these ideas further in hands-on workshops.

The day culminated with a screening of the short film Saffron (2018, Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead) before the start of the regular Thursday Night Community Meal which takes place at Kinning Park Complex.


Panel included: Gabby Cluness from Milk Café, artist Sulaïman Majali, Julie Lin MacLeod from Julie's Kopitiam and product designer Fernando Laposse


Participants will be more than welcome to stay for the Community Meal from 18:00 onwards and operates on a pay-what-you-want scheme. For more info click here.


Workshops, 15:00-17:00:

Workshop with Sulaïman Majali
Limited to 10 places

Cooking Workshop with Julie Lin MacLeod of Julie's Kopitiam
Limited to 15 places

Learn to make tortillas with Fernando Laposse
Limited to 12 places



13:00: Doors open

13:15: Intro to panel

13:30-14:30: Panel: Sulaïman Majali, Julie Lin MacLeod, Fernando Laposse, Gabby Cluness 

14:30-15:00: Coffee/tea break

15:00-17:00: Workshops (advance sign-up required)

17:30: Workshops finish

17:45: Screening of Saffron

18:00: Community meal begins

This event was delivered in partnership with:
Kinning Park Complex, CCA The Cooking Pot, LUX Scotland 

a thousand nights and a night (or arab n

a thousand nights and a night (or arab nude), 2017, Sulaïman Majali, courtesy of the artist

Bisi Alimi.jpg

Image courtesy Bisi Alimi.


We are the spirits that walk amongst you (sorry not sorry)

Alberta Whittle

14 September 2018

Glasgow Autonomous Space

We are the spirits who walk amongst you (sorry not sorry) was a workshop by Alberta Whittle as part of Glasgow School Art's Freshers' Week programme and the GSA Race, Rights and Sovereignty series (RRS).

The workshop looked at how we understand individualised and collective humxnity. Through engaging with truth telling as a form of truth talking, the workshop participants looked at how perceptions of history can impact our ability for empathy as a radical decolonial practice. 

Alberta Whittle is a Committee member of Transmission Gallery and a Board Member at SCAN (Scottish Visual Arts Network). 

'We are the spirits that walk amongst you (sorry not sorry)', Alberta Whittle. 

Workshop with Mele Broomes

11 September 2018

The Glue Factory

Twist and turn. Lengthen and strengthen. Flex and float. Whine and wave your body. In this workshop, Mele Broomes invited participants to a physical rhythmic exploration through her diasporic movement journey. The workshop asked the participants to challenge themselves personally and listen to their bodies.

The workshop was part of the Freshers' Week programme.

Mele Broomes is an artist based in Glasgow. Broomes’ work experiments with the extremities of movement and voice whilst investigating her current contemporary practice of African Diasporic dance.

Mele is also one of the lead artists for Project X, Scotland. 

Mele Broomes.
Film Screening

The Diaspora Suite

Ephraim Asili
25 May 2018
The Assembly Hall, The Art School

From 2011 to 2017, New York-based filmmaker Ephraim Asili completed The Diaspora Suite, a remarkable cycle of five films regarding his own relationship with the greater African diaspora. These works document Asili's travels across Brazil, Canada, Ehtiopia, Ghana, Jamaica and the United States, whilst also meditating on the constructs of African-American cultural and historical identity. Through its observational 16mm cinematography and its evocative use of sound and music, Asili's work is both critical and speculative, listening intently to the resonances of words and gestures that span centuries and oceans.

This screening was presented in partnership with LUX Scotland, and was the first solo presentation of Asili's work in Scotland. The screening was followed by a conversation between the artist and LUX Scotland Director Nicole Yip.

Total running time: 77min 20sec

Ephraim Asili is a filmmaker, DJ and traveler whose work focuses on the African Diaspora as a cultural force. His films have screened in festivals and venues all over the world. 

Ephraim Asili

Still from 'American Hunger', 2013, Ephraim Asili, part of The Diaspora Suite.


Still from 'Fluid Frontiers', 2017, Ephraim Asili, part of The Diaspora Suite.

Public Lecture

The Invisible Hands of Racism: Structures of Anti-Blackness in Our Liberal Society

Dele Adeyemo
2 May 2018
Reid Auditorium, The Glasgow School of Art

The Invisible Hands of Racismby Dele Adeyemo was a talk about the interaction of our unthought internal prejudices and structural racism. This talk detailed how race is a social construction, and how racism is embedded not just in our liberal society and institutions, but also in the architecture and spaces that we inhabit in our daily lives.

With reference to architecture, film and personal lived experience, the presentation discussed how structural racism is pervasive. Space is never neutral. Greater diversity and representation of black and other minority groups will be welcome but it's not enough to redress the structural balance of inequality ingrained in our cities. We explored why we need a shift of focus from the right-wing, overt forms of racism to recognise the oppression of our personal internal prejudices, and how they interact with liberal beliefs and ideas around developing the built environment. 

Dele Adeyemo is an architect, researcher and urbanist who has completed his PhD at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. His creative practice mobilises the beauty of Blackness and being as a method of decolonising approaches to architecture and placemaking for the enrichment of all lives in our cities.





Sorryyoufeeluncomfortable (SYFU)
5 May 2018
Assembly Hall, The Art School

A workshop led by the collective  Sorryyoufeeluncomfortable (SYFU) in collaboration with Dele Adeyemo as an extension of the themes raised in the presentation Invisible Hands of Racism.

Confronting Complicity discussed the problematics of liberal thought and the ways in which it contributes to anti-blackness, creating barriers to forming solidarity around transformational change.

The workshop was a safe space for deep reflection to explore the ways in which unthought systemic and structural factors impact our individual experiences and actions.


Following an exploration of movement and body language, participants were invited to make private personal commitments or collective statements in which it was possible to identify the work we need to do individually and collectively in order to achieve social relations needed to thrive, as an alternative to the the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.  

sorryyoufeeluncomfortable is a London-based collective of thinkers and makers, using art practice to interrogate dominant discourses and structures.

Indigo stained hands. Screenshot from 'Daughters of the Dust', Directed by Julie Dash, 1991.

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Putting People on Display

Aurella Yussuf
David Murphy
Cllr. Graham Campbell
John M. MacKenzie
5 February 2018
The Assembly Hall, The Art School

The seminar, Putting People on Displaypresented an afternoon of presentations and discussions surrounding some of the issues that the histories, display practices, national/local contexts and contemporary readings of the historical practice of displaying peoples as part of the "Great Exhibitions" through the 19th and 20th centuries. 

As part of the seminar, 22 banners were displayed in the Assembly Hall, to provide context to the day of presentations and discussions. The panels were originally displayed as part of a major exhibition, Human Zoos: the Invention of the Savage, organised by the French colonial history research group, ACHAC, which was held at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris (2011-12).

With the exhibition banners as context, the seminar addressed the wider national and international context in which these practices emerged, through the period of the Great Exhibitions in the 19th and into the 20th century, the manifestation of the sensationalising of the exotic (both rural and international) and examined the Scottish link to these histories. The seminar further addressed problematics relating to display methodologies and the gaze in relation to race, the perceived neutrality of the 'museum voice' and how to begin discussing parts of history which have been previously dismissed and are often viewed as 'awkward' or painful parts of history.


With contributions from:


David Murphy 

Introduction to Human Zoos at the Quai Branly

John M. MacKenzie 

The Great Exhibitions and history of 'putting people on display'

Aurella Yussuf
Who is 'we'? The spectacle and consumption of blackness in contemporary visual culture

Cllr. Graham Campbell 

Decolonising the museum, Emancipation Acts and St. Mungo's Museum

Aurella Yussuf is a writer, researcher and art historian. She is the founder of  Women of Colour Film Club, as well as a founding member of Thick/er Black Lines collective, whose work has been exhibited at Project Row Houses, Houston, and Tate Modern, London.

David Murphy is Professor of French and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Stirling. He has written widely about both modern West African culture and debates about race and identity in 20th/21st-century France. He is a long-term collaborator with ACHAC and the main organiser for the Scottish tour of the exhibition panels. 

Cllr. Graham Campbell was elected Glasgow's and Scotland's first ever African-Caribbean Councillor as an SNP member for Springburn/Robroyston-Ward 17. He has co-founded Africans for an Independent Scotland and Yes Provan. He is a passionate advocate for socialism, Pan-Africanism and Scottish independence. 

John M. MacKenzie has published several books on international exhibitions and the display of people. He is Professor Emeritus of Imperial History at Lancaster University, and holds honorary professorships of Aberdeen, St. Andrews and Edinburgh University. He is currently visiting professor at the University of the Highlands and Islands. 

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Image courtesy Black Radical Imagination

Film Screening + Workshop

Black Radical


Amir George
2 December 2017
The Assembly Hall, The Art School

The notion of Black Radical Imagination stemmed from a series of discussions around the boundaries and limitations that are historically given to people of colour in the realm of the cinematic.

Beginning in 2013, Black Radical Imagination is an internationally touring programme of visual shorts that delve into the worlds of new media, video art and experimental narrative. Focusing on new stories within the diaspora, each artist contributes their own vision of post-modern society through the state of current black culture. An artistic movement and school of thought, it focuses on the aesthetics of afrofuturism, afrosurrealism and the magnificent through the context of cinema.

The films featured explored concepts of existence through themes of ritual, migration and mythology to continue the conversation towards shifting the way in which Black Identity is defined on-screen and how these stories affect our ever-changing global culture.

The screening featured films directed by:
Onyeka Igwe
Ezra Claytan Daniels and Adebukola Bodunrin

Amir George

Jamilah Sabur

Larry Ahiampong

The event was presented in partnership with LUX Scotland, with support from Film Hub Scotland (part of the BFI's Film Audience Network) and Creative Scotland.

With thanks to Transmission Gallery, Glasgow. 

marikiscrycrycry, $ELFIE$ at Fierce, 2017, photo by Manuel Vason

Marikiscrycrycry has performed their work widely in New York City, London as well as internationally. Malik is an Associate Artist at Hackney Showroom, and a 2017 Fierce Festival artist. 




1 December 2017
The Assembly Hall, The Art School

Marikiscrycrycry is the performance praxes of London-based choreographer Malik Nashad Sharpe. Their work deals with ontologies and hegemonies around Blackness and Queerness while probing the political and emotional potentials of an expansive choreographic proposal. Utilising the radical suggestions within dance practice, their work creates ulterior conditions for movement that cycles through the topical experiences of alienation, racial ambivalences and melancholias, allostatic load, neoliberalism and its abusive imprint on the social body, violence, trauma, hope and desire in order to create an essential freedom and renewable aesthetic possibilities.

Marikiscrycrycry led two workshops:

Dances of Essentiality


The workshop involved both discussion and movement. 

Public Lecture

Design in the Real World: A View from India

Suchitra Balasubrahmanyan
19 January 2017
Reid Auditorium, The Glasgow School of Art

Design in the Real World was a series of meditations on the challenges before the practice of design in India. The first part explored the nature of social differences and hierarchies in Indian society to introduce the audience to the "real world" in India. The second part presented examples of design responses to uncover the web of relationships between designers, the market and the State, which shape design practice. Finally, the presentation reflected upon the location of designers in the world they seek to transform through design and how design curricula might better prepare them for reflective practice.

Suchitra Balasubrahmanyan is Associate Professor at the School of Design, Ambedkar University, Delhi, India. Her research interests centre on 19th and 20th century craft and design in the Indian subcontinent from historical and sociological perspectives. 

Listen back to Suchitra's lecture here.


Barbie doll in Indian wedding dress, Image courtesy National Museum, New Delhi, 2016.

Public Lecture + Workshop

Race, Rights and Sovereignty

Dr. Karen Salt
3 November 2016
Reid Auditorium, The Glasgow School of Art

In recent years, students and staff across the UK have demanded change to curricula. Many want to see more representation of the diverse history of life in the United Kingdom and within the territories that it claimed - at times - violently. These conversations about recovery and inclusion have produced different results. Some higher education institutions have brought in new courses, modules and even programmes. Others have pushed against change. In all of these encounters, what is at stake is more than merely adding certain voices to canons or histories, but redrawing what counts as stories - in essence, whose narrative matters.

In Race, Rights and Sovereignty, Dr. Salt traced this moment and offered up three possible ways forward. Within each future scenario, Dr. Salt asked, 'what race has to do with it', whose rights are being explores and, importantly, how sovereignty - and power - informs who gets to tell their stories and who listens to them. 

The lecture was followed by a participatory workshop hosted at the GSA Students' Association Assembly Hall, The Art School. 

Dr. Karen Salt Co-Directs the Centre for Research in Race and Rights at the University of Nottingham, where she also proudly leads Europe's first-ever Black Studies PhD programme. A significant portion of her work investigates how black nation-states, such as Haiti and Liberia, have claimed indpendence, demanded political recognition and fought for their continued sovereignty in a highly racialised world. A sought-after national and international speaker on race and rights, Dr. Salt participates in and co-leads a number of initiatives centre on racial and social justice. 

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Dr. Karen Salt, image courtesy the speaker.

Public Lecture

A History of Black People in Britain

7 October 2016
Reid Auditorium, The Glasgow School of Art

An overview of the untold history of the 2000 year presence of black people in the British Isles as told by BAFTA and MOBO award-winning artist, writer, educator and historian Akala

Over the last few years, Kingslee 'Akala' Daley (b. 1983), has emerged from London's hip hop underground and into the mainstream as one of the leaders of a new British artistic renaissance. Bursting into the underground scene in 2004, he made history by being the first unsigned artist to have a video appear on MTV Uk's 'TRL'. 

The name Akala is a Buddhist term for 'immovable' - along with his fans he is at the centre of a burgeoning movement of a young, intelligent and socially-conscious generation. Akala's music has always reflected his personal struggles - against ignorance, racism and the dumbing-down of the art form that once empowered him with knowledge. 

Race, politics and social conditioning are among the recurring themes presented as barbed comedic satire. In tackling those topics, Akala finds himself confronting the issue of the decline of hip hop as a social and political force, angrily restating the genre's credentials as the best, most powerful means of delivering what KRS-ONE calls Edutainment.

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Akala, courtesy the artist.

Akala is a writer, artist, educator and historian whose work touches on race, class, sexism, history, war, hip-hop culture and what it is to live in a world one knows to be inherently unequal, yet rounds it all

off not with accusations or anger, but inward self-analysis.