The Role of Rights Activism, Academia and Performing Arts Practices: A conversation

By Molly Andrews

Yesterday UEL sponsored a wonderful event at the Arcola Theatre, in partnership with Nine Lives Production. Organised by our PhD student, Alice Mukaka – who holds a UEL PhD studentship – the afternoon symposium brought together activists, academics and artists who work on refugee issues. The presentations ranged from poetry readings, to artists talking about their installations, to academic research, an unusual and extremely rich mixture.
Following the event – and a wonderful light dinner – the audience was treated to a most powerful performance by Lladel Bryant in his one man show, Nine Lives. (As part of her PhD, Alice has been following the Nine Lives production around the country, gauging the affect performance has on (re)shaping people’s attitudes to the refugee crisis.) The show is on for 4 more days at the Arcola, and if you haven’t seen it, you really should not miss it. Exceptional.
For more details and to book tickets, please see https://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/nine-lives/2016-01-20/IMG_3701
Through a complex network of funding (including contributions from all of the research centres in our school, as well as from some others) the symposium, dinner, and play were all free to the public.
Full details of the sponsors and contributors can be found here
Although not identified as a ‘civic engagement event’ this was one of the finest embodiments of
such a principle.
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Well done to Alice for organising this, and to UEL for supporting it.
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Images, from top, Alex Chisholm, the director of the play, the audience in the sold out event and Prof Gargi Bhattacharyya (University of East London). Images courtesy of Molly Andrews.
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