Here you'll find an archive of my live public appearances, from debates to speeches to hosting events.
In 2017, in partnership with speaker events company 5x15 I hosted the main stage at PULSE, London's premier independent design fair, at Olympia. I liaised with speakers including business owners, trend forecasters, designers and influencers like Youtuber Stef Michalak, as well as panel chairs such as the Evening Standard's Katie Law, introduced each session to the stage and facilitated Q&As.
Generation Revolution Screening & Q&A
April 2017 saw me sit down at London's DIY Space with student activist Barbara Ntumy; and activist and community organiser Imani Robinson, discussing a screening of ‘Generation Revolution’, an independent film that has been making waves across the UK, USA, and beyond.
Directed by filmmakers Cassie Quarless and Usayd Younis, Generation Revolution follows two groups of young Black and Brown activists and documents the tumultuous summer of 2016 which saw protests sweeping across the UK.
After the screening there was a Q&A session - the event was programmed by No Fly on The Wall.
WOW London 2016
The panel at Women of the World Festival was based around our book I Call Myself A Feminist, published by Virago Press in 2015, and was made up of myself, Martha Mosse, Amy Anette, the incredible June Eric-Udorie and Caroline Kent. We covered issues from taking up space to idealism via performance art and womanism. We read extracts from our essays; my own, called 'Women Should Get to be Rubbish Too' is about the risks of raising women to feisty ideals, and interrogates the Strong Female Character trope in fiction and in life. The event was held at Royal Festival Hall and was sold out. It was also filmed for a BBC documentary on Virago Press.
Watersprite International Film Festival
I was panel Chair for 'How To Change the World' event, and judge of 'Filmmaker of the Future' Award.
Cambridge Union Debate: 'This House Would Teach Rap Over Shakespeare' - Opposition
In 2016, Lutyens and Rubinstein bookshop/literary agents invited me to speak on a panel discussing Harper Lee's new book, Go Set a Watchman published that day. It's an un-edited first draft of her bestselling classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Discussion was spirited and ran from the legal implications of the Mockingbird trial, to the complexities of the writing process as well as the effects of extreme fame. I was honoured to share the stage with lawyer and writer Phillipe Sands and journalist Hadley Freeman, as well as novelist Louisa Young (my mum!)
Cambridge PEN, a student branch of English PEN we founded in 2014, campaigns for human rights for writers, journalists, bloggers – anyone who has something to say and is persecuted for it. When I was on the committee we ran events to raise awareness of the situation of oppressed writers, hold readings, and sent petitions and letters of support to show solidarity with those who are denied free expression. We believe this is hugely important to students, who not only live by learning from and freely challenging the ideas of others, but want to act to help those whose opinions are being silenced.
We actively encouraged the exchange of ideas by hosting debates and thought-provoking talks - events I contributed to included discussion on how governments control journalists, with BBC World Service journalist Owen Bennett-Jones, and an intimate and powerful evening of conversation with the exiled Uzbek writer Hamid Ismailov.
Cambridge PEN is all about removing the barriers to literature, and this includes supporting literature in translation. We believe that readers and writers should not be held back from communicating urgent ideas or stories by linguistic obstacles any more than by political ones. So much of the best and most important literature in the world – from throughout history and being published right now – comes, not surprisingly, from around the world. I'm proud that the committees that came after ours have done a wonderful job continuing that work.