Black History Month 2019

For Black History Month 2019, we are organising an exciting programme, aimed at University staff and students:

22 October 2019 - 1pm-2pm
Gilbert Scott (Main Building) room 355

Textiles, Cloth, Dialogue and Storying - Lunchtime talk by Naa Densua Tordzro

Free but registration required

Naa Densua Tordzro will be talking about African textiles and their meaning to the wearer and his/her surroundings, based on the type of material used and the patterns and symbols on that material.

Naa Densua Tordzro is a research student at the University of Glasgow, Ghanaian fashion designer, dressmaker and African Ga music composer and singer with an expertise in ancient West African Adinkra symbols that were printed on traditional fabrics. As a fashion and African textile artist, she has spent time researching the ways in which African textile and clothing is interpreted when worn by people other than Africans. Naa Densua has created numerous items of clothing for wear in both Ghana and Scotland and at other venues. She currently has a gown entitle ‘Obaasima’ meaning Virtuous Woman on display at Kelvingrove Museum and Arts Gallery.


23 October 2019 - 1pm-2pm

Gilbert Scott (Main Building) room 355

External Africa - Lunchtime talk by Pieter van der Houwen

Free but registration required (click here)

Abstract: The African Union refers to the contemporary African Diaspora as the 6th African region, the other five being the North, South, East, West and central African regions. The reason for this qualification is the immense economic, political and cultural influence that the African Diaspora has on the African continent. Pieter van der Houwen’s talk will explore different aspects of the Diaspora on the basis of African communities in New York, Guangzhou and Johannesburg. Often thought of as the panacea of African problems the Diaspora does present some negative aspects, especially in regard to conflict in the home country.

Interestingly enough within the Nigerian Diaspora which is an estimated 17 million people we see a reversed trend; the so-called “returnees” i.e. the Nigerians, many from the UK, returning to Nigeria since the 2008 economic crisis. The talk will also focus on migration, if we are to take African poverty reduction seriously, should we not reconsider migration policies, taking into account the vast volume of remittances that flow back to the continent?

Pieter van der Houwen is a documentary photographer, filmmaker and UNESCO RILA Affiliate Artist. Based in both the UK and The Netherlands. He has worked extensively on the African continent. His work in numerous African countries triggered his interest in the African Diaspora. He is especially interested in the impact of remittances and how development and poverty reduction can be linked to migration (the so-called migration development nexus).

More information about his work can be found here.


24 October 2019 - 1pm-2pm
Gilbert Scott (Main Building) room 355

Eritrea Past and Present - Lunchtime talk by Elsa Gebrehiwet

Free but registration required (click here)

Elsa Gebrehiwet will explore differences and similarities between South Africa and Eritrea over the past 50 years. Apartheid might have been invented in South Africa, but it is by far the only country that suffered from it. The lesser known history of Eritrea will be brought to live, by linking it to key figures in the Black History movement, such as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.

Elsa Gebrehiwet is an English-Tigrinya medical translator and UNESCO RILA Ambassador. In her role as ambassador she runs a community parent group, to talk about the needs of the young Eritreans in Glasgow. She also organises regular gatherings for those young Eritreans, to support their development and to provide them with positive local role models.

More information about her work can be found here


Past BHM2019 Events

2 October 2019: HEART FUSION + support Zazim Soundsystem

Heart Fusion is a duo between Clare Robertson and Dominic Snyder. Contrasts in instrumentation and style broaden the interpretations of Clare’s song writing. She works with sensitivity to her life experiences and her compositions explore different responses to these. Her multi-instrumentalism is used to good effect with a range of colours and cultural influences used to carry her lyrics. Dominic works with saxophone and percussion instruments to weave in and around the songs using ideas, which have grown through collaborative rehearsing and arranging.

Zazim Soundsystem are a musical collective based in Glasgow. Artists Ekuida, Vardi and Rory Ma work as DJs and roducers, perform as a live band and run a home-built Soundsystem. Their sound is warm, driven by layers of percussion and bass - made to invite a dance. Their message is of challenging oppression and bringing people together.

Heart Fusion performs Rosa Parks, a song written specifically for the gig. The backdrop is the exhibition "Call and Response: The University of Glasgow and Slavery", which runs at the Chapel until 31 Jan 2020.