A Conversation: East and South East Asian Heritage Month

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  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email: boxoffice@bl.uk
  • From £5 – £10 Concessions available

Roots of Change: an evening of discussion and music to mark ESEA Heritage Month

This event takes place in the British Library.

Join us as we launch East and South East Asian Heritage Month (ESEAHM) with an evening of conversation and discussion titled Roots of Change. The month is a celebration of the region’s history and heritage in Britain organised by besea.n. It is an exploration of the ways in which people of East and South East Asian (ESEA) backgrounds have shaped modern Britain and how they contribute to its future.

ESEA communities in the UK have been established as early as the 17th century. Today, ESEAs are one of the fastest growing ethnic communities, but little is known about their cultures and histories in the wider public consciousness. This month of events aims to amplify ESEA voices and stories that have historically been less heard in our society.

This evening’s theme, Roots of Change, focuses on climate justice, environmental issues and nature within the context of ESEA communities.

From 18.00 we will host stalls showcasing sustainable ESEA goods and information including Little Egg Crafts, ESEA Green Lions, Kamipaper, The Material Atelier by 本(BEN) and A Kind Cloth. The evening will then kick off with an uplifting panel discussion focusing on climate justice, environmental issues, and nature, all within the context of ESEA communities and celebrating ESEA Heritage Month.

Our host for the evening Tori Tsui is joined by writer and gardener, Sui Serle, and food writer, Kenji Morimoto. Musician Helen Ganya closes the evening.

Tori Tsui (she/they): A climate justice organiser and writer originally from Hong Kong and now based in Bristol. Tori's work delves into the crucial connection between mental health and climate change, culminating in her debut book, It's Not Just You. She is actively involved with organisations like Unite for Climate Action, EarthPercent, Climate Live, and Stop Rosebank.

Sui Searle (she/her) is a gardener, writer and printmaker. She has worked in botanic, public, private and community gardens as well as having spent a short period writing for gardening magazines. She is the founder of @decolonisethegarden which focuses on bringing a decolonial lens and anti-racism perspective to horticulture and is editor of the online gardening newsletter, Radicle.

Kenji Morimoto (he/him) is a fourth generation Japanese American based in South West London whose cultural identity is grounded in food. As a child, he was in charge of making tsukemono (Japanese pickles) for family gatherings, learning from and surrounded by elders recreating flavours of home. During the pandemic, he started his Instagram @kenjcooks to document his interest in fermentation and connect the dots between diasporic traditions and his own. An advocate for zero waste and sustainable living, he’s cooked in fermentation-focused kitchens in Poland, run supper clubs and pop-ups, led workshops on koji and kimchi, partnered with companies such as MOB and Souschef, and has been published in Waitrose Food. He is also working on his first cookbook.

Following the panel discussion, we will have the pleasure of enjoying a mesmerising music set by the talented performer, Helen Ganya (she/her). Helen, who is Scottish Thai and who holds an MSc in climate change, is deeply committed to environmental causes. She works with the climate and cultural organisation Julie's Bicycle, serves on the music committee of Brian Eno's climate change charity EarthPercent, and is an integral member of ESEA Music, an initiative striving to promote better representation of artists and professionals with ESEA heritage in the UK.

The night will end with drinks in the foyer until 10pm.

Produced in association with besea.n

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besea.n is a volunteer-led, community focused organisation, whose mission is to empower, educate and embrace East and South East Asian communities in the UK. Their advocacy spotlights ESEA experiences through a range of platforms and events – providing a safe space for sharing knowledge, creating joy and fostering connections.

This event takes place in the British Library.

Half price tickets available for British Library Members, students, under 26s and other concession groups. 

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Please arrive no later than 15 minutes before the start time of this event.  

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Name: A Conversation: East and South East Asian Heritage Month
Where: Pigott Theatre
The Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: From £5 – £10
Concessions available
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
Book now

* Please note that there is a £1.50 transaction fee when tickets are posted, or for telephone sales when an e-ticket is requested.