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Whose cultural values?

Date: 2 November 2020
Time: 14:00
Cost: Free
Location: Online

Does everyone place a value on culture and if so, do they value it in the same way?

**Waiting list only**

And do people get the opportunity to engage in what they value most?

Whilst many argue that art, heritage and culture define what it means to be human, it doesn’t mean that we all share the same idea of what culture is, or how it plays a role in our lives.

We’ve brought together contributors whose work is reshaping cultural value in the UK, including Tobi Kyeremateng, whose initiative Black Ticket Project gives young Black people free access to the theatre, artist and activist Harry Josephine Giles, who is currently producing a disabled artists’ manifesto ‘imagining a crip future’, Rabab Ghazoul, director of Gentle/Radical, a cultural and community organisation in Cardiff working hyper-locally from a basis of social and healing justice, and Dadirai Tsopo of Hard Times Require Furious Dancing and Wales House Farm Big Local, whose work focuses on ‘enabling voices from the grassroots a place to be heard’. Chaired by Eleonora Belfiore of Loughborough University.

Together they will discuss the headline ideas of cultural value and cultural engagement in the UK and how we can see and move beyond them. How can we step outside the established norm and reshape what cultural value looks like? Audience participation encouraged!





Roaa Ali

Roaa Ali

Dr Roaa Ali is a researcher and educator with a growing research profile in race and the cultural industries, access inequality and the politics of minoritised cultural production. She is a Research Associate at the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) at the University of Manchester. Currently, she is researching racial and ethnic inequality in the creative and cultural industries at the intersection of Covid-19 and the Black Lives Movement (in collaboration with Creative Access).

She has written extensively about issues of inequality and diversity in the UK creative and cultural industries in the form of academic journals and online articles, and was a guest editor for the Open Access ‘Intersections, Institutions and Inequities: Axes of Oppression in the Cultural Sector’ special issue.

Roaa has a PhD in Drama and Theatre Arts from the University of Birmingham and her thesis explored Arab American and ethnic minority art production within the American cultural and creative industries. Her research in this area will be available through a monograph titled Contemporary Arab American Drama: Cultural politics of ethnicity, Otherness and visibility (Routledge), and a co-edited volume titled Arab, Politics and Performance (Routledge).


Eleonora Belfiore

Eleonora Belfiore is Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Loughborough University. She has published extensively on cultural politics and policy, and particularly the place that notions of the ‘social impacts’ of the arts have had in British cultural policy discourses.  Works includes The Social Impact of the Arts: An intellectual history (2008) and Histories of Cultural Participation, Values and Governance, which was one of the main outputs of the AHRC funded Connected Communities project ‘Understanding Everyday Participation – Articulating Cultural Values’.

More recently, her research has focused on researching the politics of cultural value, and she was Director of Studies of the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value (2013-5), and co-author of its final report, Enriching Britain: Culture, creativity and growth, published in February 2015. From January 2020 she will be Editor of the Taylor & Francis journal Cultural Trends.

Rabab Ghazoul

Rabab Ghazoul

Rabab Ghazoul is an artist, curator, and founder/director of Cardiff-based Gentle/Radical. Working for over 20 years at the intersections of art, culture, equity and social justice, she’s interested in how micro-local formations that centre cultural democratisation, decoloniality and healing justice can radically model the futures we deserve. At Gentle/Radical she oversees projects that harness the power of culture as practiced through the lens of reparation. In the process, Gentle/Radical’s work seeks to reframe ‘access’ and ‘inclusion’ beyond its token applications, centring long-term embedded projects within hyper-local neighbourhood settings.


Harry Josephine Giles

Harry Josephine Giles is a writer and performer from Orkney, living in Leith. Their collection Tonguit (2015) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and The Games (2018) for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and Saltire Prize for Best Collection. They were the 2009 BBC Scotland slam champion, founded Inky Fingers Spoken Word, and co-direct the performance platform Anatomy. Their theatre has toured globally, including Forest Fringe (UK), NTI (Latvia), Verb Festival (Aotearoa) and Teszt (Romania). Their performance What We Owe was picked by the Guardian’s best-of-the-Fringe 2013 roundup – in the “But Is It Art?” category.

Photo: Rich Dyson


Tobi Kyeremateng

Tobi Kyeremateng is an award-winning cultural producer and social entrepreneur with a focus on creating rich cultural experiences and sustainable social change through film, live public events, and community-led programmes.

With 9 years’ experience in cultural production, strategy, consultancy and project management, Tobi has worked with organisations such as AFROPUNK, Goldsmiths University, Nike, Oxford University and Samsung, and has won awards including: ‘Inspiration of the Year’ (Stylist Magazine’s Remarkable Women Awards 2019), ‘Best Producer’ (Black British Theatre Awards 2019), the ‘Arts & Culture’ Award (Women Of The Future Awards 2019) and ‘Special Award: Producer’ (OffWestEnd Theatre Awards 2020).

She is currently Creative Civic Producer at Brixton House (formerly known as Ovalhouse) project managing Let’s Build – an offsite community project working with twenty Brixton-based primary school children and architects MATT+FIONA to co-design and self-build a temporary community space in Brixton.

Tobi is the founder of the award-winning initiative Black Ticket Project.

Lara Ratnaraja

Lara Ratnaraja

Lara is a freelance cultural consultant specialising in diversity, innovation, leadership, collaboration and cultural policy implementation within the HE, cultural and digital sectors. She develops and delivers projects and policy on how cultural and digital technology intersect for a number of national partners as well as programmes around leadership, resilience and business development for the arts and creative industries.

She works or has worked with the University of Birmingham, Coventry University, Birmingham City University STEAMhouse and University of Salford delivering and developing projects on diversity, digital engagement and research collaborations between arts, HEIs and SMEs.

She was the broker at the University of Birmingham on the AHRC Funded CATH Project (Collaborative Triple Helix) which developed 19 collaborative projects across the East and West Midlands with academics from the both Birmingham and Leicester Universities, cultural organisations and digital SMEs. The research project led to long term collaborative working and investment. She subsequently became Senior Research Facilitator leveraging investment for further knowledge transfer and research collaborations between academics, cultural organisations and artists across the sector. As Sector Development Director – Creative, Cultural and Digital, Business Link West Midlands she ran a £6 million programme for the creative, cultural and digital sector

With Helga Henry, she co-produced RE:Present and ASTONish leadership development programmes which supported the development of cultural leaders from diverse backgrounds so that the cultural ecology of the city better reflects its changing demographic. They are currently delivering AD:Vantage a leadership programme that places the vantage point of d/Deaf, neurodivergent and disabled creative practitioners at the heart of leadership

She is on the Board of Derby Theatres and Vivid Projects and the Advisory Groups for Coventry Biennial and SHOUT Festival. She is on the Midlands Area Council for Arts Council England, the Equality Monitoring Group for Arts Council Wales, and is a Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre Industry Champion.

Book your tickets here

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