Agenda, Photo, Travel

Looking B(l)ack Travel Symposium 2018 – highlights

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).

Black Travel Discussion (Photo by Chris Morris)

“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”.

>> Next: Excerpt from Q&A with Caryl Phillips and a screening of the BBC’s 1988 documentary “The African Eskimo”

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