“What is happening to the daughters of the yam? Seem like they just don’t know how to draw up the powers from the deep like before.”

- Toni Cade Bambara,The Salt Eaters

Saturday October 10th, 13:30

How to watch and join in the discussion: This will be streamed live to our Facebook page and on Zoom. To join via Zoom click here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the session.

Join us as we mark the UN day of observance for young girls worldwide. In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. During this special weekend, we celebrate stories that centre Black female protagonists. On day one, we look at the craft of writing for film, literature and theatre. The conversation will be taking place online and hosted by 2020 AKO Caine Prize winner Irenosen Okojie (Butterfly Fish, Speak Gigantular, Nudibranch). She will be joined by award-winning playwright Chinonyerem Obimba (Princess & The Hustler, The Sweetness of a Sting) and Yero Timi-Biu (award-winning filmmaker/screenwriter and BFI Future Film Festival New Talent award winner).

Black women have utilized all forms of media to offer radically different images of ourselves. These actions throughout history have been a much needed intervention. We cannot fully create effective movements for social change if, as bell hooks asserts, individuals struggling for that change are not also self-actualized or working towards that end. This is because when wounded individuals come together to make change, our collective struggle is often undermined by all that has not been dealt with emotionally. The telling of our stories enables us to address the unnamed psychic wounding that takes place in our everyday life. However, telling the truth is not simply about naming the ‘bad’ things. In Mwalimu Imara’s Dying as the Last Stage of Growth, he talks about how the needs of the spirit must be addressed. We must be open and honest in this culture of illusion, a culture that relies on lying. For the title of this event, we draw on the works of Toni Cade Bambara and bell hooks where the yam is presented as a self-sustaining symbol of Black kinship, diasporic connection and community.

Irenosen Okojie

Irenosen Okojie is a Nigerian British writer. Her debut novel Butterfly Fish won a Betty Trask award and was shortlisted for an Edinburgh International First Book Award. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Observer,The Guardian, the BBC and the Huffington Post amongst other publications. She was presented at the London Short Story Festival by Booker Prize winning author Ben Okri as a dynamic talent and featured in the Evening Standard Magazine as one of London’s exciting new authors. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is the winner of the 2020 AKO Caine Prize For Fiction for her story, Grace Jones.


Chinonyerem Odimba
Chinonyerem Odimba is a playwright, screenwriter, theatre director and poet. Her work for theatre includes Joanne and Amongst the Reeds for Clean Break / The Yard, a modern retelling of Twist for Theatre Centre, and Medea at Bristol Old Vic. Recent commissions have seen her work produced at Hampstead Theatre, Kiln Theatre, Live Theatre, Watermill Theatre, Radio 4, and Channel 4. She is currently working on commissions with RSC, BBC and Jermyn Street Theatre. Chinonyerem has also worked as an Assistant Director/Director for Bristol Old Vic and Theatre503, and was due to be directing Braids at Live Theatre, Newcastle in April 2020. Chinonyerem Odimba also teaches in theatres and universities across the UK.

Yero Timi-Biu

Yero Timi-Biu is a multi-award-winning writer-director for TV and film with extensive story/script editing experience. Yero is one of Edinburgh TV Festival's "Ones to Watch" for 2020. Her scripted works focus on social issues within underrepresented communities for mainstream, and commercial broadcasting. She has been commissioned by BBC, Channel 4, BFI, and ITV for original projects. She has work in development with various indies and broadcasters and is a healthcare equality and equity advocate.



Sunday October 11th, 16:30

It's Storytime! A Magical Journey in the Night Sky

How to join:
This will be streamed live to our Facebook page and on Zoom. To watch on Zoom, register here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the session.

Sulwe has skin the colour of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything. In this stunning debut picture book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty. Readers everywhere will be inspired by her courage to dream and determination to succeed.

Grown-ups, we invite you to help the children find their light by drawing a picture or writing something that makes them feel special about themselves on the stars included in the book's free kit (PDF). We encourage them to start their answers with “I shine when...”.

This storytime session will be led by award winning performance storyteller Mara Menzies who is a Kenyan-Scottish artist based in Edinburgh.

For children aged 0 to 7, but all ages are welcome..

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