How can knowledge held within archives and community memories support action to contest racial injustice in post-colonial Britain?
Manchester Central Library (Performance Space, Ground Floor)
St Peter's Square
About this event
The Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre’s Covid-19 Collecting project considers the role of archives in supporting anti-racist activism.
Through 3 sessions, Burning Work x AIU RACE Centre: The Archive Component explores the relation between archives, community memory and the work of monitoring and contesting discriminatory post-colonial institutions in Britain. This is in reference to the “serious harm” documented in testimonies within Windrush Defenders legal surgeries, forums and focus groups.
In addition, by thinking through the Black cultural institution of the sound system, what role does the body, movement and sound play in how we recollect personal and social histories, heal from them, and design alternative futures?
Between the speaker boxes of Megatone Sound Foundation, this event features sounds, presentations and speeches from the Windrush Defenders and Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre community networks, broadcast live from within the Performance Space of Manchester Central Library.
What is Burning Work?
Burning Work is an intergenerational project between Windrush Defenders Legal C.I.C, Channels Research Group and multiple collaborators within, and in relation to, post-colonial Britain. Burning Work creates spaces to interpret and contest the post-colonial architecture of British immigration law enforcement, the racialised enclosure of the Criminal Justice System, and disparities recursively evidenced in the data infrastructure of socio-economic formations.
While we'd encourage people to come along for the whole afternoon, we appreciate that this might not be possible for everyone, so attendees can book for one, two or all three sessions.
Speakers + Programme to be announced on September 3rd
The Archive Component anticipates the assertion in Wendy Williams’ Windrush Lessons Learned Review (WLLR) of a “lack of institutional memory” within government departments regarding the impact of UK colonial and post-colonial institutional frameworks on the lived experience of African Caribbean communities and their descendants.
The Archive Component seeks to build on critical intergenerational heritage projects, or counter-archives (1), established between this absence of institutional memory, and the presence of “serious harm” documented in testimonies within legal surgeries, forums and focus groups.
Therefore, during the highlighting of racial inequalities through the Covid-19 pandemic, this project set out to consider consensual research techniques for documenting and translating testimonies engaged through intergenerational Burning Work (2), as a way of communicating (3) and revealing the past, and presencing futures that address, although are not limited to, legal formulations of justice.
Session 1 (starts approx 1.15 pm): “counter-archives” hold alternative sources of information, which allow us to tell counter-narratives from testimony, objects and literature that conventional archives cannot account for. How can counter-archival practices support public health approaches to tackling racial inequality? What is their role in preserving community memory, community knowledge and documenting the impact of race on everyday life? What has been the impact of Covid-19 on collecting within counter-archives?
Session 2 (starts approx 2.45 pm): The Burning Work 2020 Digital Forum aimed to foreground techniques for contesting racial injustices within Greater Manchester on the five themes of Community Cohesion, Criminal Justice, Education, Work and Health. What has happened since then? What has been the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter movements on this activity and what role do archives perform in this work?
Session 3 (starts approx 4 pm): Through speech, sound, body and media this session will explore techniques for activating the archive and transmitting information to connect activist work. How has the pandemic altered the way we connect across communities to build futures that address, although are not limited to, legal formulations of justice?
///// DROP-OFF DAY: THE LAST 18 MONTHS
AIU RACE Centre will be collecting Covid-19, pandemic and lockdown stories throughout the day from Black, Asian and migrant communities. Bring photos, documents, reports, anything that tells your pandemic story. We do not need originals, but will accept copies to donate to our archive with your permission.
Lower Ground Floor, AIU RACE Centre Library
NOTE: If covid-19 restrictions are reintroduced for in-person events, we will move to limited numbers or make this day online-only.
Book tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/burning-work-x-aiu-race-centre-the-archive-component-tickets-168552712701