Sahra, Aisha, Emily and Amal, organisers and members of The Lit Collective book club, introduce themselves, explain the origins of the book club and why they felt it was important to put the book club and festival together.
The Lit Collective Online Festival
The Lit Collective (TLC) is a book club in Sheffield created for young womxn of colour (14-18) to read books by womxn of colour. This July they organised their first online festival dedicated to centring and celebrating womxn writers of colour, including writers who are marginalised along the gender spectrum.
The programme featured discussion groups and workshops exploring members’ and guests’ favourite texts, lived experiences, and themes such as joy, home, imagination, futurity, family, sisterhood and love.
In TLC’s words: “It is vital that we read literature which centres womxn of colour and reflects our rich and complex identities, experiences, cultures and histories. It enables us to better understand who we are, how we came to be and where we might go next. It enables us to reflect on society, examine its problems and imagine a better future. Just as importantly, it allows us to escape – together – into exciting new worlds and encourages us to create them for ourselves.”
See below to watch back the non-ticketed events from The Lit Collective Online Festival 2020, which went out live online on 23–25 July.
Sahra, Aisha and other members and friends of The Lit Collective discuss gal-dem’s essay collection I Will Not Be Erased. Reflecting on what lessons they would impart on their younger selves and the importance of role models in and beyond literature.
Researcher on Islamophobia, trauma and power Dr Maryam Jameela & internationally acclaimed poet-educator Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan discuss the importance of imagination and futurity in the context of literature and the politics of social transformation.
Two sisters, Warda and Sundus Yassin, discuss how books and poetry have impacted their relationship and reflect on their favourite sisters in literary texts. Sundus is an original member of TLC and Warda is a school teacher and award-winning poet.
Mubeenah Waheed, Aniqah Majid and Loma Jones explore the concept of Home in Britain through poetry by Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan and Nat Raha. And discuss ways that creative expression provides a home of sorts for those who are marginalised/disempowered.
Amber Lascelles, Amina Jama and Désirée Reynolds discuss what Black Feminism means to them, its relationship with the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the role of imagination in dismantling systemic racism and misogynoir.