In CARICUK’s final stage, the focus is on transformation: short-term institutional changes and the capacity to imagine something more radically different.
In terms of institutional change, the final stage starts with the making of two short films that invite institutions and academics to listen to young black people about how they feel when their black bodies are in institutional spaces. One was filmed at the RGS (How the Land Lies), and the other relates to the experience of campus life for Black students (University and Me). The point is not to be in any way representative of the diverse experiences of all young black people in all educational institutions, but to provide a catalyst for thinking about black embodiment in institutional spaces. Flipping the Campus, a public online discussion, considered what can be done to make educational buildings and campuses more diverse and welcoming.
Recognising that the negotiation of in/security is not just about mending what is wrong but is also about imagining better, the project finishes with an event called “beautiful experiments” in which black scholars can imagine spaces of radical transformation.
The Global Black Geographies reading group is an international collection of postgraduates and early career researchers (ECRs), from Europe, Africa and the Americas, who meet regularly online to discuss academic readings. Rita Gayle will draw on her media experience and on her PhD research on Black Feminist Collectives’ online publication practices, to work collectively with the group to produce a prototype online publication.
The final experiment in more radical transformation will be led by Tia-Monique Uzor, who will produce a dance-focused film, exploring black embodiment in UK landscapes. Dr Uzor has a range of more conventional publications (see CV), but as a choreographer this film is an alternative, embodied form of academic output. Dr Uzor’s vision is not to focus on current racialised exclusions, but to decentre whiteness and imagine a more liberating version of what black British embodiment can be.
The film will be launched, along with the publication prototype, at the fellowship’s final online public discussion event in December – the two experiments will strike the keynote for a concluding discussion about what the fellowship has achieved and the agendas it sets for Black British Geography.