15 November 2023, MayDay Rooms

An evening screening of Riots and Rumours of Riots (1981) with the director Imruh Bakari and poetry readings from his poetry collections Without Passport or Apology (2017) and The Madman in this House (2021). This will be followed by a discussion on past resistance movements and what we can learn from them today.

Riots and Rumours of Riots explores the history of immigration from the Caribbean to the UK from the Second World War up to the Notting Hill riots of 1958. Utilising an array of archive material, the film highlights the significant contribution an older generation of black people played in British history, which gave rise to early forms of radical black politics in the UK. 

Without Passport or Apology looks at emigration and immigration, racism and resistance, slavery and freedom. Drawing on thirty years of working as a filmmaker in the Caribbean, Europe and Africa, Bakari addresses head-on the experience of African-Caribbean migration, for himself and for the millions who constitute the African diaspora around the world. 

A book about resistance to colonialism in the twenty-first century, The Madman in this House is begins with the story of the ‘Negro of Banyoles’, whose stuffed remains were displayed in European museums for nearly 170 years and ends celebrating the life and music of the Jamaican jazz-musician Coleridge Goode. The collection explores the histories, geographies and the ironic ‘impossibility’ of being black in our time. From Grenfell, Guantanamo and Gaza to the monsters of empire and neoliberalism selling their ‘tar baby promises’ of freedom.

Light refreshments will be served. 

Sign up for the screening here

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