SHANTI GIOVANNETTI-SINGH reviews George Tillman Jr’s The Hate U Give.   There is a particular poignancy which arises from works of fiction that resemble reality. Watching films like Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later… amidst a pandemic is, at the very least, eerie and unsettling. Even more disturbing are those fictional works whose image of a dystopian future increasingly resembles the broken present. Perhaps the most notable examples include Orwell’s 1984, or Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. These tales respectively depict a failed society, in which misinformation prevails, the subjugation of women is mainstream, and government surveillance abounds. These often sensationalised works serve as a warning, as a desperate call for help. They represent an artist’s fervent plea for their dystopic vision of the future not to materialise.      There is, however, a very different kind of horror associated with the ‘fiction’ that not only reflects reality but is indistinguishable from it. The…Continue Reading

The Hate U Give

GABRIELA FOWLER explores her mixed race identity, reflecting on the racism experienced by her family and what it means to be anti-racist.  I once told an ex-boyfriend that I wasn’t comfortable with his racist jokes, that I didn’t find them funny, and not that it should matter, but that I was mixed race. His reply? ‘Well, you’re not really.’ ‘My mum is from Mauritius, a tiny tropical island off the east coast of Madagascar,’ is a sentence I’ve become used to repeating, a glossy way of labelling my racial and cultural identity. I use it when someone sees a photo of my family, saying ‘Wow! Your mum is so dark!’ Or when I’ve been out with my cousins, and we run into one of their friends who can’t believe we’re related. We usually laugh off the discomfort, joke about it, ‘Yeah, well I do get pretty tanned during the summer,’…Continue Reading

“You’re Not Really”

MAYA BOWLES discusses how her experience of Small Island has evolved in light of the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.  The National Theatre’s production of Small Island, broadcast for one week on their YouTube channel, coincided not only with the second annual Windrush Day on 22nd of June, but also with the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. I first saw the play last August at the National Theatre, and while I thought it was outstanding then, watching it for a second time online during the coronavirus pandemic and the BLM movement gave the story a new gravitas. Based on the novel by the late Andrea Levy, Small Island moves between Jamaica and Britain, telling a story that spans the Second World War, and the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush in 1948. In a recent interview for The Guardian, Leah Harvey (who plays Hortense) said that…Continue Reading

Small Island and the Windrush Scandal

A selection of recordings of the speeches made at the Bristol Black Lives Matter march, courtesy of Thea Rickard.

Bristol Black Lives Matter March