1st - 31st October
Time to Breathe
Date: Thursday 1st - 31st October
The racist killing of George Floyd in America by a white police officer in May 2020, who suffocated him by kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, reignited the Black Lives Matter movement and provoked a storm of protest across the world. Since then we have seen further evidence of open, institutional and structural racism is rife across the world and in the UK. The record 15000 plus complaints to ITV about dance troupe Diversity’s performance on Britain’s Got Talent that referenced the killing of George Floyd and offered a message of hope and unity is another example of blatant racist attitudes in the UK. Research and statistics too have revealed how the pandemic and Lockdown is disproportionately affecting people from BAME community.
In response to the Black Lives Matter movement and ongoing racist incidents, and the mental and emotional pressures on the black community, WoW created Time to Breathe, a project designed to address these issues and offer participants the opportunity to share their experiences and produce a creative response. As part of the Writer’s Bloc, our emergency response to the social and mental health emergency arising out of lockdown, WoW felt it was vital to bring BAME writers together and offer them a space to reflect, discuss, document and creatively respond to the variety of serious issues facing BAME people.
Throughout our Black History Month programme the writers on our Time to Breathe course will be sharing their powerful, inspiring and emotional essays, poems and short stories created on the course – these readings paint a stark picture of the often hidden or underrepresented lived experiences and histories of BAME people in our community.