Riots and Rumours of Riots takes inspiration from the 1981 ‘race riots’. Director Caesar Imruh explores the origins of radical Black consciousness in 1980s Britain by charting the experience of the preceding generation. Part essayistic meditation and part oral history, the film layers audio-visual archive material with recorded testimony. The resulting timeline begins with post-WWII migration following Caribbean contributions to the war effort and ends with reflections on the 1958 Brixton riots sparked by racism.
Franco Rosso’s 1980 film Babylon follows a young reggae DJ (Brinsley Forde, M.B.E., frontman of the British group Aswad) of the Ital 1 Lion sound system in Thatcher-era South London as he pursues his musical ambitions while also battling fiercely against the racism and xenophobia of employers, neighbours, police, and the National Front. It’s a fantastic piece of social realism that manages to balance a celebration of black British culture with a gritty insight into the oppression that pervaded the day-to-day lives of second-generation immigrants in this period.
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Discussion will follow each film over zoom, a great space for discussing your ideas and engaging in productive debate. Alternatively, treat the discussion like a podcast and just sit back to listen to other students’ thoughts. These screenings will be an opportunity for UCL’s student community to engage with ideas regarding racial identity and racism over history as well as the present day.
No membership required.
The stream will be uploaded to this thread closer to the time.