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In collaboration with SOAS World Languages Institutethe Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study, and the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme, SOAS

About the festival
Shadow Heroes is hosting a day of discussions and creative workshops to explore pathways towards education that is free from prejudice and discrimination. Our speakers, workshop leaders and presenters will discuss frameworks and methodologies to create educational spaces that value a plurality of languages and ways of knowing, where young people learn to value all sides of their identities.

The focus will be on language as a proxy for knowledge, the role language plays in creating plural spaces, and also how language is often obscured as a vehicle for discrimination. Our aim is for attendees to engage critically with techniques and approaches that work towards inclusivity in teaching. 

This festival is for the general public and will be of particular interest to secondary and HE teachers as well as artists, particularly writers, translators, poets. 

About Shadow Heroes
Shadow Heroes is an arts education initiative that supports young people in embracing all sides of their linguistic and cultural heritages. We do this through creative translation workshops that explore issues of representation, self-expression, colonial history and the power of language. Working with a network of accomplished translators, writers and other artists, we develop and run workshops for schools, all of them carefully designed with the students’ needs in mind, covering sixteen languages: Arabic, Bissau Guinean Crioulo, French, German, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Urdu. 

All times are in BST

10:00Introduction to UNTEACH Festival:  Gitanjali Patel (Director, Shadow Heroes)

10:15-11:15Keynote by John Agard, hosted by Yansé Cooper
John Agard is a Guyanese poet, playwright, and writer of children's books, whose poems have been studied at English GCSE since 2002. His many awards include the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2012. With Renaissance One he co-curates liming events to encourage spoken word revelry and dexterity.
Yansé Cooper
is a school leader with over 10 years' experience teaching French & Spanish in state secondary and primary schools across London. 

11:45-13.00Panel discussion
Valuing a plurality of languages and ways of knowing in the classroom. What needs to be unlearned?

Each of the four speakers will offer a five-minute provocation on the topic of creating educational spaces that value a plurality of languages and ways of knowing. This will be followed by a one-hour discussion, including questions from the audience.

Amina Yaqin is a Reader in Urdu and Postcolonial Studies at SOAS. She is co-author of Framing Muslims: Stereotyping and Representation after 911 (Harvard UP, 2011). Her book Gender, Sexuality and Feminism in Pakistani Urdu Writing (Anthem) is out later this year. She is Chair of the Decolonising Working Group and Director of the Festival of Ideas.

Jeffrey Boakye is an author, broadcaster, commentator, educator, journalist and teacher with a particular interest in issues surrounding education, race, masculinity and popular culture. He has taught English to 11- to 18-year-olds since 2007.

So Mayer is the author of A Nazi Word for a Nazi Thing (Peninsula, 2020) and a number of other books. So previously worked with English PEN and taught creative writing and film studies, and is currently a bookseller at Burley Fisher, and a feminist film curator and activist.

Raymond Antrobus was born in London to an English mother and Jamaican father. He is author of To Sweeten Bitter (Out-Spoken Press), The Perseverance (Penned In The Margins), All The Names Given (Picador), and children’s picture book Can Bears Ski? (Walker Books)

Kavita Bhanot (Chair) is a writer, translator, editor, and ECR Leverhulme Fellow at Leicester University. She wrote the landmark essay 'Decolonise not Diversify' (2015), founded the Literature Must Fall Collective, has edited three short-story collections and is co-editing an anthology on decolonising translation (Tilted Axis). 

13:00-14:30Lunch break with a series of four spoken word pieces about language and power, produced by the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme and Chouette Films
14:30-15:30Concurrent workshops
Two education organisations will share their groundbreaking methodologies and approaches towards an inclusive arts education in concurrent interactive workshops.

1Shadow Heroes - this workshop is now full. Please email Shadow Heroes if you would like to be added to a waiting list

'Shadow Heroes' will be showcasing the results of their recent Arts Council England-funded project Race Through Translation.

Speakers: Nariman Youssef, Mohini Gupta, Katia Halls

2Literature Must Fall - this workshop is now full. Please email Shadow Heroes if you would like to be added to a waiting list
'Literature Must Fall' is a new paradigm for how we read and write. This workshop will explore how we can read and enjoy literature with critical awareness; interrogating supremacies, hierarchies and invisibilised assumptions in literary texts and within ourselves.

Speakers: Kavita Bhanot, Ayesha Siddiqi

The festival will conclude with excellent artists sharing their work and ideas on the festival's theme.

Preti Taneja
Preti Taneja is a writer, editor and activist. Her novel We That Are Young (Galley Beggar Press, 2017) was nominated for, and won, awards worldwide. She teaches writing in prisons and lectures in Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

Khairani Barokka
Khairani Barokka is a Minang-Javanese writer and artist from Jakarta, Research Fellow at UAL’s Decolonising Arts Institute, Associate Artist at the National Centre for Writing (UK), and UK Associate Artist at Delfina Foundation. Okka’s latest book is Ultimatum Orangutan (Nine Arches).

Suhaiymah Manzoor Khan
Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan is an educator and poet who disrupts narratives of race, history and knowledge in her writing and workshops. She is the author of Postcolonial Banter (2019), host of the Breaking Binaries podcast, and published in multiple anthologies and national media publications. Her work has millions of views online. 


This event will have closed captioning throughout.

UNTEACH is supported by Arts Council England, National Centre for Writing's Visible Communities ProgrammeInstitute of Translating and Interpreting, and Renaissance One

All are welcome to join this free event, held online via zoom. The event will not be recorded. Please register using the Book Now button below, and you will receive the online joining link to the event. When you register, you will need to select one of the two Concurrent Workshops - you will receive the separate link to join that workshop at a later date.


Download guidance on participating in an online event (pdf)