UK Poetry Versus Colonialism is a project to build connections and awareness of the histories and legacies of Empire and the slave trade. Working with artists, historians and museum curators the project uses poetry as the means of articulating and processing the affective, troubling and surprising histories and realisations about the everyday legacies of colonialism. Enabling the voices of all participants to register and articulate their personal response creates agency and ownership which is essential to progress with integrating deep understandings of British history into society and identity and helping us to establish new worlds and futures together.
As part of The Being Human Festival: New Worlds 12 -22 November 2020 the Poetry Versus Colonialism series offers four hands-on workshops based on: Cotton, Gold, Tobacco and Sugar and the cultivation/extraction, processing and trade of these goods and human and environmental costs.
From Spring 2021 the workshops will be taken into UK Schools as part of an Arts Council England funded roll-out. Poets will collaborate with academics, teachers, artists and museum staff to investigate the colonial history of sugar, gold, cotton and tobacco. A set of teaching resources for exploring Empire, history and identity through poetry and creative writing will be developed, tested and published. The project includes poetry commissions from professional poets and platforms for the performance and publication of poems by poets and young people. Two day-long workshops will be held with trainee teachers and with arts and heritage organisations around the communication and handling of colonial material and ideas, and ways in to creative engagement and ethical awareness building. The project will reach diverse audiences of parents, community groups, artists, trainee teachers, arts and heritage staff through school events and CPD workshops, a social media campaign, an online anthology and a project website. If your school or organisation would be interested to here more please contact us at: