Day two began with an opening address from Johny Pitts:
“Travel allows us to be ourselves”
… and was followed by a panel discussion on “Decolonizing travel” featuring: Sulaiman Addonia (Eritrean refugee whose award-winning novel The Language of Love has been translated into 20 languages), Lola Akinmade (Nigerian award-winning writer and photographer currently based in Sweden), Kevi Donat (French history buff who runs Le Paris Noir tours of Black Parisian history), Jessica De Abreu (co-founder and curator of the Black Archives, dedicated to Black Dutch history), Bernardine Evaristo (award-winning novelist, poet, playwright and Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University), and chaired by Sibo Kanobana (sociolinguist at Ghent University).
“When I travel [in Europe] I’m seen as an object of curiosity but not necessarily hostility” states Bernadine, in response to a question posed by Sibo regarding whether story-telling can be understood as a form of travel. Bernadine recounts her experiences travelling across Europe in terms of her gender, her privilege in navigating white spaces and her statehood as a British citizen, pointing to Europe’s rich and diverse history of black presence and travel, as reflected in her novel “Soul Tourists”.