Debatable asks experts from the arts and beyond to consider whether cultural diversity initiatives reinforce stereotypes rather than remove them. Tackling issues from the way in which 21st century London should approach culturally diverse arts and cultures, to the best means for arts practices to help us make sense of our increasingly globalised times, the panel of speakers will contribute their different perspectives in order to get to the heart of this thorny topic.
This event forms part of Cultural Co-operation’s new international cultural project for 2009 – 2014 on the theme of ‘World City’. Focusing on how cities around the world and across time have become prime sites of convergence for the world’s people, Debatable is one of the first events in an ambitious programme of festivals, public talks, debates and educational projects.
The debate will be chaired by Wesley Kerr, a freelance broadcaster and journalist, and chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s London Committee. Confirmed panellists include: Reem Kelani, one of the foremost researchers and performers of Palestinian music; and Munira Mirza, Greater London Authority’s Director of Policy, Arts, Culture and the Creative Industries.
Debatable will also include performances by some of the leading members of Cultural Co-operation’s Network of artists, London: Diaspora Capital. Reem Kelani will perform some of her critically acclaimed music. She will be joined by other acts including Poetic Pilgrimage, a progressive and poetic hip-hop duo who blend diverse musical influences and politicised lyrics to present themselves as strong, creative Muslim women.
Audience members will be actively encouraged to contribute to the ongoing debate from the floor. In addition audience members will be asked to vote on the issue before and after the debate to see whether the discussions have swayed any opinions.
Debatable has been commissioned by Kensington and Chelsea Arts Team as part of Across the Street, Around the World, a series of 60 events, celebrating cultural heritage and community in the borough. The event takes place at the Tabernacle, the iconic building now a thriving arts and community centre in the heart of Notting Hill.
Refreshments will be served free-of-charge.