Chair: Annabel Jackson (School of Oriental & African Studies)
5.15 pm Indian Ocean Memories and African Migrants
Dr Shihan de Silva (Institute of Commonwealth Studies)
Presentation and Film which explores the cultural memories of the largest Afro-Sri
Lankan community. Dances and songs (in creolised Portuguese, the language of trade
and commerce for 350 years on the island), connect the Afro-Sri Lankans to Africa, now
no longer an imagined homeland. Africans were prominent in the Indian Ocean World
in various spheres but now the majority of Afro-Asians are pushed to the margins
Performing tradition enables Afro-Sri Lankans to carve out a niche in the
cultural arena of their hostland. Fading memories of slavery and the slave trade can
still be heard in the narratives of their oral histories.
6.30 pm Migration and Diaspora in Precolonial West African History
Dr Toby Green (King’s College London)
The focus of this presentation is on the way in which diasporas and migration shaped both statebuilding in West Africa and also the Atlantic diaspora.
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