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