Lola Olufemi has been awarded technē AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Studentship with the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) at Westminster School of Arts and the Stuart Hall Foundation
Lola Olufemi’s doctoral research project aims to conceptualise and define an understanding of UK black cultural activism (BCA). Timely and overdue, this project, which starts in September 2020, will establish a national intellectual and creative research platform for the current generation of cultural activists.
Joining a burgeoning cohort of doctoral researchers as artists and critics at CREAM, Westminster School of Arts and as part of Stuart Hall Foundation’s international network of Scholars and Fellows, Lola, the author of the recently published book Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power (2020) notes:
I’m excited to join the CREAM PhD doctoral programme and to have the support of Stuart Hall Foundation, technē and the University of Westminster. It’s an honour to be included in a legacy of thinkers building on the work of Stuart Hall. This project aims to enable young organisers and artists to draw connections between the imaginative-revolutionary potential of their cultural production and material contained in the archive. Lola Olufemi – June 2020
Lola’s research project builds significantly on the Stuart Hall Foundation’s black cultural activism initiative (BLK AKT MAP) to excavate and make accessible histories of black British cultural activism. BLK ACT MAP emerged from a series of peer-led, intergenerational conversations organised by the Foundation in 2017. Younger groups of black and brown artists, cultural practitioners and activists highlighted the need to set their own agendas within a historical context, and to understand how they can connect and collaborate with earlier generations of culturally diverse artists and intellectuals.
Lola’s much needed approach to the research brief at interview re-focuses the project on feminism and anti-racist organising. This is in keeping with her work as a black feminist writer and organiser of workshops on feminism and histories of political organising in schools, universities and local communities.
CREAM researcher Roshini Kempadoo and collaborators Julian Henriques and Gilane Tawadros as trustees of Stuart Hall Foundation were impressed by the range of proposals. As Roshini notes:
There exists a generation of black activists, critics and artists whose voices, action and creativity need to be captured as vital knowledge for the future. Lola’s research in the UK at this time, in this moment, informed by Stuart Hall’s seminal thinking will contribute significantly to the work still to be done. This project will undoubtedly transform the cultural and political landscape that has recently been set in motion through anti-racist protests. Roshini Kempadoo, CREAM, Westminster School of Arts, University of Westminster Read more about Lola Olufemi’s research project
Gary Younge and Lola Olufemi Discuss Looking Back to Look Forward
Gary Younge and Lola Olufemi discuss ‘looking back to look forward’. In the first #ReconstructionWork conversation, writer and academic Gary Younge and black feminist writer, organiser and researcher Lola Olufemi explored how histories of black cultural and political activism can help us construct just and equal futures, working across different generations and geographies.
Learn more about our #ReconstructionWork project here.
Gary Younge is an award-winning journalist, author and professor of sociology at Manchester University. He has written five books, most recently Another Day in the Death of America, which was awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize from Columbia Journalism School and Nieman Foundation. Gary worked for The Guardian for 26 years where he was a columnist and the US correspondent for 12 years, returning to become the paper’s editor-at-large and leaving for Manchester University in April 2020. He is also the Alfred Knobler Fellow for Type Media and on the editorial board of The Nation in the US.
Lola Olufemi is a black feminist writer, organiser and researcher from London. She holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Gender Studies from SOAS, University of London. Her work focuses on the uses of the feminist imagination and its relationship with futurity. She is co-author of A FLY Girl’s Guide to University (2019), author of Feminism Interrupted: Disrupting Power (2020), a member of ‘bare minimum’, an interdisciplinary anti-work arts collective and the recipient of the techne AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership between The Stuart Hall Foundation, CREAM and Westminster School of Arts.