5th Annual Stuart Hall Public Conversation – ‘Manufacturing Dissent: Moments of Solidarity’ took place on 3rd February 2022, with speakers Raymond Antrobus, David Austin, Liz Fekete, Catherine Hall, Sado Jirde, Farzana Khan, Pragna Patel, Fatima Rajina, Gilane Tawadros and Joshua Virasami. Chaired by Gary Younge.
A year on from the global political protests for racial equality, and through a period marked by growing inequality, intolerance and authoritarianism in Britain and across the globe, we invited speakers to respond to these questions: Is there a discourse capable of speaking to a wide range of people from different backgrounds? What social, cultural, political, and economic differences can coalitions transcend? How can difference be expressed within a collective whilst maintaining cohesion? How can we move from forming coalitions/alliances towards a more unified and transformative politics fit for our times?
Our Public Conversation event has been our yearly moment to pause and reflect, inviting an audience to engage with the work of artists and thinkers on a chosen theme that responds to recent political, cultural and social changes. Previous years have pursued themes through multiple lenses, providing a chance for questions and discussion, and punctuated with interventions by poets, artists and musicians that open up a different space for thinking.
“How can we organise these huge, randomly varied, and diverse things we call human subjects into positions where they can recognise one another for long enough to act together, and thus to take up a position that one of these days might live out and act through as an identity? Identity is at the end, not the beginning, of the paradigm. Identity is what is at stake in political organisation. It isn’t that subjects are there and we just can’t get to them. It is that they don’t know yet that they are subjects of a possible discourse. And that always in every political struggle, since every political struggle is always open, is possible either to win their identification or lose it.”
– Stuart Hall, ‘Subjects in History: Making Diasporic Identities’ (1998) from ‘Selected Writings on Race and Difference’ published by Duke University Press, 2021.
Supported by Arts Council England.