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Outputs (118)

“Anything you say, will be used against you!” : The necessary place for creative expression and language as an outlet for young people, and the criminal act of criminalising them (2024)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

Keynote speech exploring the importance of nurturing and protecting creative spaces and opportunities for young people, and for that creativity to not become stigmatised and criminalised. Shared examples of how various forms of music, dance, film, an... Read More about “Anything you say, will be used against you!” : The necessary place for creative expression and language as an outlet for young people, and the criminal act of criminalising them.

Navigating personal and professional pathways towards the telling of Bath’s African-connected histories (2023)
Book Chapter

This chapter is a transcript of a conversation between Polly Andrews - Learning Officer for Bath Abbey, and Convenor of the Bath & Colonialism Action Group; and Professor Shawn-Naphtali Sobers – trustee of Fairfield House , Bath, and Professor of Cul... Read More about Navigating personal and professional pathways towards the telling of Bath’s African-connected histories.

Candles (2022)
Book Chapter

In this short auto-ethnographic essay, Sobers uses material culture as a doorway into a deeply personal reflection. Focusing on a pair of candles given to him by his late brother, the chapter leads the reader through the complexity of family dynamics... Read More about Candles.

Material culture and the echoes and legacies of transatlantic enslavement - before and after the Colston statue (2022)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

The Duldig Annual Lecture on Sculpture was inaugurated in 1986 to commemorate the life and work of the sculptor Karl Duldig and his wife, the artist and inventor Slawa Horowitz-Duldig.  Now in its 36th year, the Duldig Annual Lecture has continued... Read More about Material culture and the echoes and legacies of transatlantic enslavement - before and after the Colston statue.

The Message (2022)
Book Chapter

How listening to 'The Message' by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five in 1982, became a life changing class-conscious moment for a 10 year old boy.

In conversation with Reginald D Hunter (2022)
Exhibition / Performance

Comedian Reginald D Hunter talks to Professor Shawn Sobers about race, politics, cancel culture, family, addressing taboos, and faith. Hosted by Glastonbury Festival's legendary Cabaret Stage, in the Theatre & Circus field.

Contested culture as change-maker: The collaborative approach to displaying the toppled statue of Edward Colston (2022)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

The toppling of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol in June 2020 made international headlines. Professor Shawn Sobers of the UWE Bristol and ‘We are Bristol History Commission’, and Ray Barnett Head of Collections & Archives at Bristol Museums,... Read More about Contested culture as change-maker: The collaborative approach to displaying the toppled statue of Edward Colston.

The future of visual anthropology in the wake of Black Lives Matter: A dialogue among Shawn Sobers, Deborah Thomas and Sireita Mullings (2021)
Journal Article

As a discipline, anthropology has long been subject to the scrutiny of critical race theorists and to questions of ethical practice with regard to ethnicity and representation. This dialogue features critical Black visual anthropologists discussing t... Read More about The future of visual anthropology in the wake of Black Lives Matter: A dialogue among Shawn Sobers, Deborah Thomas and Sireita Mullings.

Which of us photographs? (2021)
Book Chapter

How will future historians interpret how the 2020/2021 lockdowns impacted photographic aesthetics? Such a study would likely be done best by scholars who are not yet even born. Practitioners and scholars of today are too close to the moment to be abl... Read More about Which of us photographs?.

Point of View - Positioning public engagement central to your research. Case Study: Ethiopian echoes in a British Landscape AHRC Research Networks project (2019)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

This key-note presentation discussed approaches to research design and methodology, and offers thoughts towards how to connect research projects closer to real world experience and impact. The three areas discussed were; 1) Public engagement as the c... Read More about Point of View - Positioning public engagement central to your research. Case Study: Ethiopian echoes in a British Landscape AHRC Research Networks project.

The politics and myth of the Untold Story: From personal liberatory practice to decolonial discourse (2019)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

This talk will discussed a journey in creative practice and deconstructing motivations of making - from the personal to the political and the blurs inbetween. Sobers discussed modes of using creative culture to challenge to the colonial centre, and e... Read More about The politics and myth of the Untold Story: From personal liberatory practice to decolonial discourse.

When the Prophet was angry with the Emperor: On Marcus Garvey's critique of Haile Selassie I, and the aligned legacy of both their logic (2019)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

Discussing the challenging moment in 1937 when Marcus Mosiah Garvey strongly criticised Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie for moving to Bath in the UK, to rally for support for Ethiopia's liberation from Mussolini's fascist invasion. Garvey attacked t... Read More about When the Prophet was angry with the Emperor: On Marcus Garvey's critique of Haile Selassie I, and the aligned legacy of both their logic.

Five corners of reggae music (2016)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

A personal exploration of what reggae music means to me, from the perspective of five areas of life - Cultural/ Educational, Spiritual, Political, Entrepreneurial/ Resourcefulness, and Social. Speech given at the Afrika Eye Film Festival, 12 Novem... Read More about Five corners of reggae music.

Hidden presence: Comparative study of visualising the presence of Black people living in Georgian era Britain – an analysis of two participatory creative history projects (2016)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

This paper will discuss the outputs and findings of three recently completed creative history projects, which worked in participatory ways to explore and visually respond to the lives of Black people living in Georgian and Victorian era Britain. All... Read More about Hidden presence: Comparative study of visualising the presence of Black people living in Georgian era Britain – an analysis of two participatory creative history projects.

Language and resistance: Memories of transatlantic slavery, and its continuing afterlives in the use of Rastafari language and terminology (2016)
Book Chapter

This article discusses how language within the Rastafari culture, known as Iyaric, or Word Sound, has been formed in resistance to the effects of white supremacist domination in the forms of slavery and colonialization. It explores how Rastafari ter... Read More about Language and resistance: Memories of transatlantic slavery, and its continuing afterlives in the use of Rastafari language and terminology.

Names I once owned (2015)
Exhibition / Performance

A spoken word autoethnography of names. Exploring the names I once owned discussed through the lens of identity, history and politics. Contextual references are made to Malcolm X, and his journey with names in pursuit of social justice and spiritual... Read More about Names I once owned.

Walking interconnections: Case study of methods of a participatory action research project (2015)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

Discussing the methodologies and research methods of 'Walking Interconnections' - a research project that worked in the Bristol region from 2013 – 2014 using walking, conversation and creative activities as methods to trigger communication between se... Read More about Walking interconnections: Case study of methods of a participatory action research project.

Creative citizens: Researching the value of creative citizenship through co-creative action research (A ‘transmedia’ case study) (2014)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

This presentation shares the approach and findings of a case study that explored how ‘South Blessed’, an informal youth network of creative citizens in Bristol, generates value through its activities. South Blessed showcases a diversity of young, cre... Read More about Creative citizens: Researching the value of creative citizenship through co-creative action research (A ‘transmedia’ case study).

Creative citizens: Researching the value of creative citizenship through co-creative action research (A ‘transmedia’ case study) (2014)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

This session shares the work of the Creative Citizens strand that set out to investigate the impact of informal creative networks on their communities. In Bristol we worked with the network of young people that work around the very informal South Ble... Read More about Creative citizens: Researching the value of creative citizenship through co-creative action research (A ‘transmedia’ case study).

SS Mendi (2014)
Digital Artefact

This film commemorates the fate of the SS Mendi, transporting South African Labour Corps troops to join the WW1 war efforts on the front lines in France. On 21 February 1917, just twelve miles off the coast of the Isle of Wight from leaving Cape Town... Read More about SS Mendi.

Being a man (2014)
Digital Artefact

Before being approached to make this film I had heard of muscular dystrophy, but the name Duchenne was new to me. On reading up about the condition, and listening to the audio interviews with the 20 men who talked to the researchers, I was struck by... Read More about Being a man.

Photography that revisits: Participatory influences in post-colonial, auto-ethnographic visual anthropology practices (2014)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

My current creative practice – of a photographic discourse which revisits and moves closer into the subject after the shutter has been pressed - brings together three distinct but (for me) related areas in my educational background; BA in film & phot... Read More about Photography that revisits: Participatory influences in post-colonial, auto-ethnographic visual anthropology practices.

The social vocabulary of Hidden Presence: British History and the need to talk through the silence and acknowledge true stories of African presence (2013)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

When British spaces, rural and otherwise, are full of celebrated and re-told myths and legends – from sites such as Stonehenge through to character based fables such as Robin Hood – why do some resist to allow true stories, which are no less fantasti... Read More about The social vocabulary of Hidden Presence: British History and the need to talk through the silence and acknowledge true stories of African presence.

Hidden Presence: British history and the need to acknowledge true stories with African descendent casts (2013)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

British culture is full of legend and folklore, yet true stories about the Black presence in pre-20th century UK, which on the surface are even more fantastical than fiction, struggles to find a place in the historical British narrative. The functi... Read More about Hidden Presence: British history and the need to acknowledge true stories with African descendent casts.

Walking interconnections: Researching the lived experience of disabled people for a sustainable society (2013)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

‘Walking Interconnections’ is the name of a collaborative research project. As the name suggests, the project’s focus is on the ways in which walking, as an activity, can prompt the sharing of experiences between people. The interconnections we expl... Read More about Walking interconnections: Researching the lived experience of disabled people for a sustainable society.

Re:Interpretation: The representation of perspectives on slave trade history using creative media (2013)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

This presentation describes the process, production and context of Re:Interpretation, a participatory media project carried out by Firstborn Creatives in partnership with the National Trust. The brief was to explore the challenging subject of transa... Read More about Re:Interpretation: The representation of perspectives on slave trade history using creative media.

Reflections on partnership working: Case Study of BBC partnership with UWE photography programme (2012)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

This presentation discussed the partnership that was built between BBC Bristol and the UWE photography programme, which saw students working with BBC staff on the 'More Than Words' festival, producing imagery across the city. Reflections on the succ... Read More about Reflections on partnership working: Case Study of BBC partnership with UWE photography programme.

Adinkra Poster Series (2012)
Exhibition / Performance

These poster images are work in progress of a series of 54. They explore the Adinkra symbols which originate from Ghana, dating back to the pre-historic era. The symbols are still widely used by Ghanaians to the present day, as well as by the wider A... Read More about Adinkra Poster Series.

Real and Imagined Lives (2012)
Exhibition / Performance

Real and Imagined Lives explores identity through works drawn from the National Portrait Gallery Collection. Fictional character sketches written by well known authors accompany Tudor & Jacobean paintings of unknown sitters, while writers offer an a... Read More about Real and Imagined Lives.

Words Inside (2012)
Exhibition / Performance

Solo photography exhibition - This photography series is interested in marginalia – notes in the margins of books, and the other markings they carry that were not there when new. The photographs on display are a combination of my own books, and ones... Read More about Words Inside.

Roots & Wings (2012)
Exhibition / Performance

Touring group photography exhibition - 2012. Locations included The Hawth, Crawley, Steel Shed Gallery in Barbados, Martinique art gallery, and Brighton Photo Fringe. Curated and coordinated by Urban Flo Creative Consultancy, in partnership with... Read More about Roots & Wings.

Positioning education within community media (2010)
Book Chapter

Looking at how educational activities contribute to the broader community media sector, and discussing the impacts of involvement for young people in media arts activity.

Plan China (2009)
Digital Artefact

In 2007 I visited Guangzhou, China for 10 days as Filmmaker-in-Residence with a group of young people and three other support workers, on a research trip exploring creative life and education in the city. The resulting 21 minute film was screened... Read More about Plan China.

Positioning education within community media (2008)
Presentation / Conference Contribution

Looking at how educational activities contribute to the broader community media sector, and discussing the impacts of involvement for young people in media arts activity.

Unfinished Business (2007)
Digital Artefact

In 2007 I Directed this film for Firstborn Creatives, for BBC1 (West). It explores how the city of Bristol has dealt with coming to terms with its historical links with the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, in the year of the bicentenary of the passing of... Read More about Unfinished Business.

Barbados to Bath (2007)
Digital Artefact

30 minute documentary exploring the story of how the city of Bath came to be home to one of the oldest Caribbean steel band orchestras in the UK.

Under the Bridge (2000)
Digital Artefact

This documentary explores Bristol’s historical links with the slave trade, and the feelings in the city relating to this past. It charts local protests, the opening of Pero's Bridge my Paul Boateng MP, and the city's first museum exhibition dedicate... Read More about Under the Bridge.

Footsteps of the Emperor (1999)
Digital Artefact

50 min Documentary about Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I’s time living in the city of Bath in exile from 1936 - 1941, during Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia. Directer and Producer - Shawn Sobers Presenter - Benjamin Zephaniah Executive Prod... Read More about Footsteps of the Emperor.