Inspired by the life and work of Professor Stuart Hall, the Stuart Hall Foundation is committed to public education, addressing urgent questions of race and inequality in culture and society through talks and events, and building a network of SHF scholars and artists in residence.
In response to the Covid-19 crisis and the Black Lives Matter protests worldwide, the Stuart Hall Foundation’s Board and staff have considered how we can contribute most effectively to the current challenges we all face. We have therefore together decided to re-focus the Foundation’s resources and work on two key strands of activity:
Delivering a dynamic digital programme entitled #reconstructionwork which will focus on contributing to the building of a better society and culture in the aftermath of the pandemic and in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, connecting education, culture and politics as Stuart Hall did.
Building and developing our network of scholars and artists in residence. We look forward to continuing activity with this international network of critical thinkers and practitioners who are engaging with Stuart Hall’s work and the ways it can help us to address the issues today of racial inequality and other forms of underrepresentation and disadvantage within both academia and the wider public world.
We are launching this activity with an online event on 26th June as well as recruiting a new Digital Content Curator to shape the #reconstructionwork digital programme over the coming months.
Legacies of British Slave Ownership with Catherine Hall and Ruth Ramsden-Karelse
Catherine Hall and Ruth Ramsden-Karelse discuss the Legacies of British Slave Ownership. They explore the importance of new histories, reparations, working to decolonise education and shifting collective memories to imagine new futures.
The most recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests rejuvenated popular debates over the removal of statues of British slave owners from public spaces. The fall of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol and calls to remove statues of Winston Churchill, Lord Nelson and Cecil Rhodes has forced the British public to reconsider questions of history and colonial legacies.
Read more about our #ReconstructionWork project here.
Catherine Hall is Emerita Professor of History and Chair of the Centre of the Study of British Slave-ownership at UCL. She has written extensively on the history of Britain and its empire including Civilising Subjects (2002) Macaulay and Son (2012) and, with others, Legacies of British Slave-ownership (2014). From 2009-2016 she was principal investigator on the LBS project www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs. She is currently writing a book on Edward Long, Jamaica and racial capitalism. She is a trustee of the Stuart Hall Foundation.
Ruth Ramsden-Karelse is founder and co-convener of the Oxford Queer Studies Network and a DPhil candidate in the English Faculty at the University of Oxford. The inaugural Stuart Hall Doctoral Studentship, in association with Merton College, the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities and the Stuart Hall Foundation, supports her research on the world-making capacity of collaborative works by self-described gays and girls from communities formerly classified “Coloured” in Cape Town, South Africa, from 1950 to the present, with a specific focus on the Kewpie Photographic Collection. Ruth’s writing has appeared in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.
Can the Museum Be Decolonised? Mohammed Ali, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan and Ahdaf Soueif
On Wednesday 7th July, the Stuart Hall Foundation an online roundtable as part of their #ReconstructionWork series to think through the possibilities of decolonising the museum. The event included short presentations from the panel of guest speakers followed by a chaired discussion:
• Mohammed Ali, Artist/Curator, Founder of Soul City Arts and Trustee of Birmingham Museums
• Sado Jirde, Director, Black South West Network
• Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Writer and Poet
• Ahdaf Soueif, Writer
• Intro: Bridget Byrne, Director, the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE)
• Chair: Orsod Malik, Digital Content Curator, Stuart Hall Foundation
What can the concept of decolonisation look like in practice and in relation to the museum? We welcomed Ahdaf Soueif, Mohammed Ali and Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan to share their experiences working within and without the museum to examine whether or not the museum can be a space for realising disruptive and radical possibilities. The panel explored what and who the museum is for, the relationship between the museum and the construction of racial hierarchies as well as the museum’s entanglements with the history and legacies of colonisation.
In partnership with the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) with support from Arts Council England.