By Radka Hostašová
Artistic expression remains one of the most crucial ways for society to raise awareness of, criticise and protest against injustices, politics and inequality. We’ve seen how powerful art can be and art in many different forms can be used to communicate the pain and injustice of racism. By using different media and platforms, artists can address a broad audience and initiate a dialogue in society. This month Liverpool will introduce a new festival, Liverpool Against Racism, which aims to do just that.
Running from the 23rd – 30th of April, Liverpool Against Racism is built upon similar principles as the Black Lives Matter movement. Liverpool Against Racism will stimulate a conversation about, and action against, racism. With a focus on community cohesion, it will act as a platform for people and organisations to creatively respond to hate crime.
The festival will also focus on love, togetherness and a sense of community, with the purpose of not only to raising awareness of the past, but also to bring more brightness to the future.
Liverpool Against Racism Festival Programme
The festival programme consists of various events taking place across the city. There’s live talks and debates as well as music and cultural events, featuring a diverse line up of local, national and international individuals and organisations who are invested in the charge for change.
The Liverpool Against Racism programme kicks-off with an impressive one-day music showcase on 24th April, which will take over venues in the Baltic area of the city showcasing over 40 local talented musicians from different cultural backgrounds.
Camp & Furnace, District and 24 Kitchen Street will play host to some incredible Liverpool acts including The Christians, The Farm, John Power, Greg Wilson, LÅPSLEY and Sense of Sound, with more to be announced soon.
Tickets cost £5 + booking fee, per person, per venue. Full details and tickets are available here.
The festival’s conference, on 26th April, will feature a day of live talks and debates centred around art, culture, sport, media, fashion and business. A BAFTA winning film-maker and historian, an ITV news anchor, a former professional boxer and a critically acclaimed American author are just some of the people coming together in Liverpool to address the issue of racism.
Led by Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson, she will be joined by presenter and historian David Olusoga OBE, Loose Women and news anchor Charlene White, activist and journalist Kevin Powell and former boxer turned actor Tony Bellew.
The main conference is hosted at The Spine and brings together contributors on a local, national and international level. Tickets for the full day conference cost just £20 + booking fee per person. Details of all ‘Sessions’ can be viewd here.
Youth Empower Conference
In partnership with the Anthony Walker Foundation and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), a Youth Summit will take place at LJMU Student Union on Friday 29th April, in collaboration with the Equality & Outreach Teams.
Find out more about the Youth Empower Conference here.
Alongside the Music Day and Conference, several venues and institutions, such as Liverpool John Moores University, Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, and Writing On The Wall will be delivering partner events. There’s everything from walking tours and poetry workshops right through to skating festivals and talks around understanding the Liverpool’s role in the transatlantic slave trade.
The Everyman Theatre becomes a space to connect distinct cultures through art, food, and open discussion, John Moores University gives an opportunity for teenagers to talk about their perception of racism and discrimination. And finally, a considerable part of the festival is engaged in exploring Liverpool as a past centre of the slave trade and emphasizing its impact on the lives of millions of people.
Find out more about the Partner Events here.
Overall, the first season of the Liverpool Against Racism festival has a lot to offer. It creates the space for communities to speak up and for the public to listen.
To find out more about Liverpool Against Racism visit www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/liverpool-against-racism/