As a community and a nation we can’t know where we are, where we’re going, or where we could be if our map is faulty, incomplete or badly drawn. We also miss out on great stories. In this episode authors Jacqueline Roy, SI Martin and Nicola Williams expertly guide us through Britain’s past and present. So come celebrate the UK’s diverse and brilliant Black British voices with us.
To truly trace the contours of this place, in all its complexity and beauty, we need to build a better map, and to do that we need to hear all voices, stories and experiences — from across the cities and beyond. This cultural journey, an international, inter-generational and centuries-long history of people criss-crossing the Atlantic, has led to the rise of what is now celebrated as Black Britain. The readings and interviews with Jackie, Steve and Nicola give us precious insights into the lives of people from African and Caribbean heritages. As our guides help us explore the preoccupations, voices and stories of this island nation, we learn about the part literature has played in forging that national identity, and how levelling the field in publishing can enrich our understanding of everything from Georgian London to legal thrillers.
“Good books withstand the test of time, even if they are of their time.”
— Bernardine Evaristo (author of Booker winning novel “Girl, Woman, Other”).
Viewed as part of a continuum, this body of work provides a more accurate and detailed account of what it means to be British. From books published in the 1930s, when most of the Caribbean was considered British; to the music of 2-Tone, where black and white musicians blended blue beat and ska from the 1960s with reggae, soul and punk from the 1970s; to the 1990s, when black authors born in the UK were being published. National identity is constructed as much through the past as it is by the present.
“Black Britain: Writing Back” is a new series curated by Bernardine Evaristo with her publisher, Hamish Hamilton, at Penguin Random House. Their ambition is to correct historic bias in British publishing and bring a wealth of lost writing back into circulation. This project looks back to the past in order to resurrect texts that will help reconfigure black British literary history.
Music & SFX
Opening & Closing Credits by Unregistered Master Builder
Background Music and Interludes: Zanzibar by Jones Meadow, Secret Love - Johannes Bornlof and Mountain Quail - Dust Follows: (Epidemic Sound)
SFX Connection: City Sounds
Twitter & Instagram: @LDNbylockdown
In this episode your intrepid lockdown travellers tackle the big food questions. ************************** What are Romanesco broccoli and celeriac and what do you do with them? What’s the great “jollof rice controversy”? How hot is too hot for a vindaloo? Shouldn’t we all eat cheese scones every day? Are vegetarian Scotch eggs worth it? ThanksOpening & Closing Credits by Unregistered Master Builder Touching Moments by Ketsa (Free Music Archive) Markus J Buehler Viral Counterpoint of the Coronavirus Spike Protein (2019-nCoV)BBC SFX Archive Information & WebsitesUK Landworkers Alliance. For the ‘World Famous London by Lockdown Cook Off’ RecipesVegetarian VindalooCheese Scones Jollof Rice (it’s so good we included two links): here and hereVegetarian Scotch Eggs ContactFacebook: @CraigsAudioWorks Twitter & Instagram: @LDNbylockdown Available linktr.ee/LondonbyLockdown ...
In this series we discover what it takes to fall in love with a new city during a pandemic. ************************** When London shut down on March 24, 2020, I’d been here four weeks and my partner Shona, eight months. Our staggered arrivals were so she could take a job with a global human rights organisation and I could finish my work back in Australia. I arrived with a few contacts, a resume and a visa, so when London shut down my job prospects fell off a cliff. (Shona’s still working.) In 2008 I also swapped a stable job for the unknown, when we relocated to Timor-Leste so Shona could work with a local human rights organisation. Our three years there showed us what a post-Coronavirus London may look like: overwhelmed medical system; sporadically empty shelves; and the existential threat of illness (dengue, chikungunya, malaria, tuberculosis, hepatitis — not to mention unnamed ‘bugs’ that inflict combinations of diarrhoea, fever, nausea, vomiting, headache and fatigue). Fever was optional, but diarrhoea was a given. In the first week of shutdown we filled water bottles; re-stocked our first aid kit; bought dry goods that didn’t need refrigeration; and re-organised our fresh food options (the UK’s food systems are acutely fragile — see Episode 3). We also moved house — see Episode 2. We’re thankful we’re together (had my visa taken another week, we’d be on opposite sides of the world right now). ‘London by Lockdown…’ is about falling in love with a new city in strange times, remaining curious and open, enjoying everyday discoveries and making it work. Thanks Opening & Closing Credits by Unregistered Master Builder Touching Moments by Ketsa (Free Music ...
Love touches us all at some point — from dependable familial bonds to the warm comfort of childhood pets, from the heady perfume of romance to the cherished appreciation of community, culture, country. The physical and emotional connections transcend barriers, cross generations and borders. And yet, love can sometimes be ‘not quite right’, taking where it should be giving, causing destruction — even as we still love. Celebrating ten years of Speaking Volumes, this anthology is a warning shot, an affirmation, an education ... These forty writers — new and established — speak volumes, invoking their experiences of outsiderness and their defiance against it. In this episode we’ll hear ‘The Pilgrimage’ by Amina Atiq; ’Knot’ by Leonie Ross; and ’The Apocrypha of O’ by Gaele Sobott. Our guide is poet, novelist and musician Dr Anthony Joseph. Available at all good bookshops, or you can order from Flipped Eye Publishing. Speaking Volumes live literature organisation. ...