Dr Olivette Otele is a Historian and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. She holds a PhD from Université La Sorbonne and she currently teaches at Bath Spa University. She works on European empires, the History of the African diaspora, memory, and identity politics. More broadly, she also looks at geopolitics in the Atlantic World. Her work as a public intellectual involves looking at social and cultural issues and working with minority and majority communities outside academia. She has appeared in various television, radio programs and documentaries. As one of the recipients of an AHRC-LABEX Pasp grant, Dr Otele will start a 30 months funded research entitled “Telling one’s story, redefining collective memory: the challenges of African refugees and migrants in 21st century Europe”.
Johny Pitts is a writer, photographer, and broadcast journalist. He has received various awards for his work exploring Afro-European identity, including a Decibel Penguin Prize and an ENAR (European Network Against Racism) award. Johny has had work published by Penguin, Franklin Watts, Harvard University’s Transition magazine and the journal of post colonial studies, amongst others. As a photographer he has had work published by Cafe Royal Books and recently collaborated with author Caryl Phillips on a photographic essay for the BBC and Arts Council England. Johny also curates the online journal Afropean.com, part of the Guardian’s Africa Network dedicated to the Afro-European diaspora. He is working on a travel narrative and photo essay to be published in 2017, entitled ‘An Afropean Odyssey: Travels in Black Europe’.
Chaired by: Professor Kevin MacDonald, UCL
Join the Royal African Society & UCL African Studies Research Centre as Dr Olivette Otele explores Afro-European experiences from Black presence in Spain in the 16th century to memorializing the past and performing identities in European public spaces in the 21st century, examining the meaning of public history and the impact of cultural memory. Johny Pitts will also draw on his research and creative work which explore the human experience of being black and European in the present day.