The term ‘reconstruction’ is often used to characterize a moment in time where a series of events force a period of political, social and economic reorganisation. This past year, the Covid-19 pandemic and the sustained Black Lives Matter protests have prompted a collective reassessment of the past in order to make sense of present-day inequalities. Stuart discussed ‘reconstruction’ as an opportunity to “reinscribe the past, reactivate it, relocate it and resignify it” in order to work through the present, reinterpret the future and to imagine something else. Our #reconstructionwork series implements Stuart’s thinking through a series of online public conversations where we invite writers, artists and activists to critically consider how we can build a better society in response to the Covid-19 crisis and the Black Lives Matter protests worldwide.
The first three #reconstructionwork conversations explored how the long histories of black cultural and political activism can help us construct just and equal futures, working across different generations and geographies (Gary Younge and Lola Olufemi), how best to effect political change through grassroots activism and the parliamentary system, taking into consideration the role of community, culture and theories of change (David Lammy and Amina Gichinga), and the importance of new histories, Reparations, working to decolonise education and shifting collective memories in the effort to imagine new futures (Catherine Hall and Ruth Ramsden-Karelse).
For our fourth conversation in the series, you will meet technologist, author, broadcaster and former investigative journalist Shiv Malik, and social affairs leader writer for the Guardian and SHF trustee Susanna Rustin. In the last decade, intergenerational inequalities have been at the fore of political argument, alongside other inequalities such as class, race, sex, with which the left has traditionally been engaged. Shiv and Susanna will explore how this new analysis, and the economic reality on which it has been based, has changed our politics and what this might mean for the future.
Learn more about our #ReconstructionWork Programme here.