Africa Writes Festival - Inherited: All Our Names

Woman holding bowl in burnt forest

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  • Full Price: £10.00 Member: £10.00 Other concessions available

A rhythmic evening of poetry, dance and sound exploring names we inherit.

This event takes place in the British Library Theatre and will be simultaneously live streamed on the British Library platform. Tickets may be booked either to attend in person, or to watch on our platform (online) either live or within 48 hours on catch up.  In person ticket bookers will also be sent a bonus link to the online event. Viewing links will be sent out shortly before the event.

What does it mean to inherit the names given to us? Join us for an evening of exploration, movement and thought into how we embody the names we desire, defy the names that limit us and reclaim the names once lost to us. Special features of the evening is the screening of Sethembile Msezane’s short film ISIMO, where an ancestral matriarchal figure feels and holds the pain of the living, and poet Raymond Antrobus performing from his latest collection All The Names Given translated into BSL dance, plus more.

Sethembile Msezane is an international mutli-award winning artist based in South Africa. Using interdisciplinary practice, Msezane creates commanding works heavy with spiritual and political symbolism. The artist explores issues around spirituality, commemoration and African knowledge systems. She processes her dreams as a medium through a lens of the plurality of existence across space and time, asking questions about the remembrance of ancestry. Part of her work has examined the processes of mythmaking which are used to construct history, calling attention to the absence of the black female body in both the narratives and physical spaces of historical commemoration.

Raymond Antrobus was born in London, Hackney to an English mother and Jamaican father, he is the author of To Sweeten Bitter and The Perseverance. In 2019 he became the first ever poet to be awarded the Rathbone Folio Prize for best work of literature in any genre. Other accolades include the Ted Hughes award, PBS Winter Choice, A Sunday Times Young Writer of the year award and The Guardian Poetry Book Of The Year 2018, as well as being shortlisted for the Griffin Prize and Forward Prize. In 2018 he was awarded The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, (Judged by Ocean Vuong), for his poem Sound Machine. His poem Jamaican British was added to the GCSE syllabus in 2019.

This event will be BSL interpreted.

This ticket is for Inherited: All Our Names only. You need to purchase a separate ticket for the rest of the festival.

If you’re attending in person, please arrive no later than 15 minutes before the start time of this event. We are committed to the safety of our event bookers. Click here to find out how we are welcoming you to the Library safely

In association with the Royal African Society

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Image credit: ISIMO by Sethembile Msezane


Name: Africa Writes Festival - Inherited: All Our Names
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £10.00
Member: £10.00
Student: £5.00
Registered Unemployed: £5.00
Disabled: £5.00
Senior (60+): £8.00
Young Person (18-25): £5.00
Online Full Price: £8.00
Online Member: £8.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546