KCL Action Palestine extends a huge welcome to this year’s cohort of freshers, to our existing supporters, to every one of you that came and said hello at the recent fresher’s fair; Welcome!
We were blown away by the response!
Many of you expressed an interest in attending our events and knowing how best to contact us so I thought I’d dedicate my first KCLAP blog to doing just that.
But first let’s talk about our first event.
The KCL Anti-Racism Campaigning Poetry Night and Fundraiser
Not the most succinct of event names but here at KCLAP you’ll learn we like to get straight to the point. In a collaboration like no other we were able to bring together the *Deep Breath* Intersectional Feminist Society, King’s People of Colour Association, KCL Student Action for Refugees, EcoSoc and King’s For Refugees/Undoing Borders.
Why? Because Racism in its many forms commonly intersects the variety of political, activist and solidarity organisation here at KCL. I’ve been here a while and learned quickly that university is like any other microcosm, albeit a tad skewed and often covert in its microaggression. We hope this collective of societies can this year delve into shedding light on our common aim to educate, expose and disassemble the octopus that is racism and its hidden tentacles. I would implore you all to make the most of your time at KCL with societies, events, and dialogues that open doors to schools of thought not governed by whitewashed curriculum. If your society shares this ethos, we’re open to expanding.
If you didn’t attend the event, it’s fine… I don’t hold grudges and there’ll hopefully be plenty of future ones. The night in itself very much expressed the subject of racism through Artivism: Artistic Activism…see what I did there? Photography, Spoken Word and Film together with talks from various representative of the societies involved in the collaboration offered the issues in an alternative way.
We entered through a photo display by Ahmed Twaij; KCL Masters Student, freelance writer and photojournalist. He would later share his thoughts on his experiences in Iraq via a Skype Convo. He spoke about racism and colourism across the Arab world, and within our own activism in response to the refugee crisis. Check out his thought provoking photography at https://www.instagram.com/everydayiraq.
This was preceded by moving poetry from Maria Shah. Introducing with a recitation in Urdu of a piece by one of Pakistan’s most beloved poets Habib Jalib. Her English translation spoke of oppression and the issues surrounding elitism within Pakistan which stirred many an emotion.
Videos of Lowkey’s Ahmed, and Rafeef Ziadah’s ‘We teach life’ and ‘Shades of Anger’ brought focus on the plight of the Palestinians through rap and spokenword (my personal bae). Both artists, be it through viral youtube videos or songs that will never be forgotten, have had a history of bringing Palestinian activism to the masses.
Love to learn spoke of its work with children from refugee backgrounds living in south London. Creating a safe and fun space for them to dance, sing and be together. They shared their music video “home sweet home” which has to be the CUTEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN. LOOK! https://www.facebook.com/RefugeeWeek/videos/1112180252153497/
KCL’s very own STAR (Student Action for Refugees) volunteer with Love to Learn every week so if you’re interested in getting involved hit them up.
Poet Fatima Abbas then brought it back to performance; reciting poetry speaking of her experiences as a muslim woman traversing a western world.
Sarah Oneal’s piece ‘An Overreaction’ conveyed the sentiments of the Black Lives Matter Movement in its plight to dismantling police brutality in the US. “The cops kill more black people each year than the KKK lynched. And you want our marches peaceful, you want us calm, you want us quiet
Stop asking us to bite our tongues when we cannot guarantee our siblings safe passage to the corner store”.
The evening finished with the award winning, internationally renowned Spoken Word Poet; Anthony Anaxagorou. I’ve been a huge fan of his work for the past 4 years and have learned more about politics, world history and activism through his pieces than I ever did throughout my education experience. He did not fail to live up to his reputation.
For first ever KCL Anti-Racism Campaign event, bias aside, it was a pretty AWESOME. But don’t take just my word for it:
“KCL Poetry Night was such a beautiful evening – extremely moving, and it really inspired me to be more proactive in standing up to racism. Just being surrounded by so many people from all different backgrounds who were all there to raise awareness and learn about how we can fight racism was in itself such an empowering atmosphere to be a part of!”
(Farah Orths, 3rd year KCL Philosophy student)
“ I thought it was one of the best events I’ve ever been to! Great to see loads of societies doing an event together showing that even though all the causes they stand for are different they’re still united. Anthony was sick!”
(Salma Khan, 3rd year KCL Medical student)
Not too shabby.
KCL Action Palestine Committee 2016
If you’d like to contact us regarding future events, our plans or just want to get to know us here is your 2016 KCLAP Committee:
Co- Presidents: Ibtehal Hussain (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Joe Simpson (email@example.com)
Secretary: Mariam (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Events : Saba (Saba.email@example.com)
Outreach : Lexy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Publicity : Kamil Mahmood (email@example.com) and Zahra Butt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Treasurer: Nadz (email@example.com)
I know by now your eyes are probably tired but I just wanted to squeeze in a little about what KCLAP plan’s to do this year. Our purpose very much revolves around supporting the Palestinian people in their struggle to achieving 3 main things. These include the end of the occupation, equal rights for the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes as stipulated in UN Resolution 194
How do we achieve this? Through Campaigning, Building and Educating.
CAMPAIGNS – working with other societies and organisations we will work to divest from companies we feel are complicit in the occupation and violation of the rights of the Palestinian people
EDUCATE – we get that there is much misunderstanding around this conflict. KCLAP is a place to learn more about the key historical and political issues which led to today. We will run educational events and study circles which we hope will help you understand these issues and the importance of Palestinian activism
BUILD – KCLAP is forever growing and relies on people like yourself, your individuality, creativity and your passion for us to continue our work. We hope to build a network of activists through regular events as varied and engaging as you all are. So if you have any ideas for an event feel free to approach us through our open meetings and we’ll see what we can do. We want to tackle misconceptions about Palestinian activism as well as making clear our commitment to opposing prejudice in ALL forms.
In the meantime keep an eye out for our events through Facebook (@KCLActionPalestine), Twitter (@KCLAP) and of course this blog (permissiontonarrate.wordpress.com). Whilst we’re on the subject we’re looking for guest bloggers so if you feel there’s a topic you want to write which resonates with Palestinian Solidarity then get in contact.
Peace and Solidarity