Teaching: Visual Merchandising BA Year 2 London College of Fashion

Teaching VM 2nd year students I done a presentation to introduce myself and my work as well as doing a presentation about Westfield to introduce the students to the Westfield project to the class, and prepare them for their visit to Westfield Shopping Centre. I spoke about my work and Westfields, I mention to the students that my work and the Westfield presentation was a guide to help the students with their visual research on their Westfield project which the end result will be an art ‘installation’ piece. I said that my experimental style combined with mixed media, to create my installations art. that I have transformed all different type of spaces into a custom built interactive environment, because  my students have to transform their given space at Westfields, into an interactive environment.  I told that they can draw inspiration from my work, as a guide for their Westfields installation project. They can link my work their project brief as our creative conceptual use of space in an imaginative way, creating an environment using installations art as a means to convey messages to our audience.




Students watching my presentation

Westfield Notes:

Westfield Stratford City is a shopping centre in Stratfordwhich opened on 13 September 2011. Part of a large multi-purpose development project called Stratford City, a city within a city. It is one of the largest metropolitan shopping centres in Europe.

Around 280 shops offering plenty of high street shops such as Primark, Forever 21, Topshop, Accessorize, Jigsaw, Oasis, New Look, Urban Outfitters, Quiz, H&M to name a few. As well as some luxury home and lifestyle brands. Also, you can relax and indulge in cuisine from all over the world, from Mexican to Caribbean with over 70 restaurants.

In addition to its vast amount of shops and restaurants, you’ll find a dazzling array of leisure facilities. The Vue Cinema all-digital 17-screen, is one of the largest and most innovative in Europe. You can also experience the luxury bowling at All Star Lanes, or even try your luck at the 24-hour Aspers Casino, which is one of the biggest in the UK.

Westfield Stratford City is close to the Queen Elizabeth Park, home to West ham United Football Club and 560 acres of parklands that will also become the culture and education hub which LCF, UCL, Victoria and Albert Museum with Smithsonian institution and Sadler’s Wells Theatre come together to form a new culture creative hub on the Queen Elizabeth park. Hopefully this will be opportunitiesfor local residents and their community to utilise this space. East Village, is that was the former Olympic Village that home to the athletes during the Olympics in 2012.

Westfield Stratford City is part of London borough of Newham. According to the local council by 2025 it is estimated that over £22 billion will have been invested in the area, creating more than 35,000 new homes and 100,000 new jobs.The London borough of Newham, is the 2nd poorest and most deprived borough in London and the country. Newham has one of the youngest and most diverse populations in theUK boroughs. With over 200 languages and dialects.

Newham population characteristics

  • The median age is 30.8 years (mid-2015)
  • 52.3% of the population are male and 47.7% female (mid-2015)
  • 25.2% (83,800) of the population are under 18 years, 67.8% (225,600) are aged 18 to 64 years and 7% (23,400) are aged 65 years and older (mid-2015)
  • By 2021 Newham’s population is projected to be over 367,900 (SNPP).
  • Ethnic or cultural background of residents: 46.5% Asian/Asian British, 26.5% White, 18.1% Black/Black British, 4.9% mixed/multiple ethnic group and 4.0% any other ethnic group.These figures are based on the mid-year 2017 GLA ethnic group projection.**
  • 40% of residents are Christian, 32% Muslim, 8.8% Hindu, 2.1% Sikh, 1.2% part of another religious group, 9.5% were not religious and 6.4% did not state their religion (2011).
  • Religion in Newham as of 2011.
  • Christianity(40%)
  • Islam(32%)
  • Irreligion(9.3%)
  • Hindu(8.8%)
  • Sikh(2.1%)
  • Buddhist(0.8%)
  • Jewish(0.1%)
  • Other (6.9%)

Westfield Stratford City isn’t the only reason to visit this exciting area. You’ll find a wealth of sporting, cultural and dining attractions nearby too.

  • The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. …
  • Stratford Cultural Quarter. …
  • All Saints West Ham. …
  • The Royal Docks. …
  • Emirates Airline.Westfield Stratford City has been reported to be the first large-scale use of Pavegen floor tilesto harness kinetic energy

Stratford Regional and Stratford International stations. It is promoted as contributing significantly to the local economy, with the creation of up to 10,000 permanent jobs including 2,001 going to local people.[ However, there are counter-reports of significant harm to other local businesses due to the preponderance of chain stores.Total retail floor area of 1,905,542 square feet (177,030.6 m2),


Taking VM My Students to see the Selfridges ExhibitionThe Flipside.  To be inspired for their Westfield project (images)

VM Students waiting in the cue.


This Exhibition  was very interesting for the students to visit it helped them to see various way of creating and displays.


Images inside the exhibition



Visit to the Islington Design Centre for the Exhibition Event Display



Self-Initiative Project: Presentation

Self-Initiative Project

Visible Black

Black female artists: 101 must see Black Artists: Hardback, E-Books, Webpage blog, website, exhibition. Planned.

I want to use this self-initiative project as a starting point for my PHD book base, to equip libraries in our universities with books about black female artists, and change the understanding of the world of art, breaking down barriers, and invisibility and giving voice to black female artist a marginalised group who have so much to say. I want black female artist to be recognise in the mainstream art, so that everyone can access their arts. Art should not be centred just around European art and culture, Students of today are more diverse want to study art that represent and inspire and speak to them emotionally, that will encourage them to learn to create great work of art. our universities libraries must be decolonized to accommodate a more diverse community. Not everyone wants to read about European artist, that are mainly old white men, universities are so diverse, and student wants books with artists that they can identified with while others want to expand their knowledge of artists from different cultures. Every culture uses their art to express their identity and they all have something to say. And their own reasons for creating their work of art.

Image by Lorraine Williams

This piece was created to open a space in people’s mind where they can have a moment to understand what we are trying to do as black women artist to be visible. I have used colours for emotions and layers for expressive power and manipulation to convey a message of strength and visibility by whatever means necessary, and manifest feeling in different ways.


Image taken from Black British Female Artist Collective

Phoebe Boswell, The Matter of Memory


Claudette Johnson courtesy the Artist/Hollybush Gardens. Photos: Andy Keate




Teaching and Learning Unit: Reading Journal:

Student Evaluations of Teaching as ‘Fact-Totems’: The Case of the UK National Student Survey

by Duna Sabri
King”s College, London

Managers use survey results to ‘identify potential problems in the student experience, and to act on them quickly’ (Ramsden et al. 2010: 3). For those who teach, in particular, but also for some who manage, publication of the NSS results can occasion a series of performative episodes that close down the possibilities for critical engagement with student feedback as the NSS is cast as an indisputable expression of ‘the student experience’ and critique is interpreted as ‘blaming the student’.  

The ‘things’ institutions ‘can do’ with NSS data include: analysis of quantitative ratings and students ‘open comments’, and making records at multiple levels (university, school, department, course etc) that record results, response, action, comparison with past years, and with other universities and comparable courses. These records and associated  innumerable rankings add layers of meaning and emotion to the way that staff members experience the NSS. Sometimes highly charged discussions take place about culpability or credit, conflicting interpretations, and perceptions of validity. All of this can take place independently of any technical understanding of the statistics (de Santos 2009). I find this quote by de Santos interesting because the universities use the NSS to help them identified the different cultural groups and economic issues, and if they are meeting the students needs. and if students are satisfied with their courses and the quality of teaching they provide.  However, looking at it from the perspective of a Bame students as they are more likely to highlight their experiences to facts that they are dissatisfied the quality of teaching and feedback they receive as well as support and interaction from their tutors . Students you are always encouraged to fill in the NSS, this gives the students the opportunity to draw attention to their negative experiences, hoping this might have some form of impact on the courses especially if expectations are not being met by the universities. therefore, some courses might suffer after the NSS has gathered the information, this could mean changes to the structure some of courses, and also rankings may rise or fall depending their results.


Reflections on Aoun’s (2017) consequences for the advancement of technology


Literacy gives us the power to network with the ideas and information produced by other people> at any distance of time or space. Written language allows us to communicate ideas, mathematics allows us to communicate about quantities and dimensions, and scientific literacy allows us to communicate about the natural world. In a digital milieu, human beings require more complex literacies that enable us to do more than simply transmit con­cepts ‘between human minds. Humanics’ three new literacies technological, data, and human-enable us to network with both other people and machines. Even more so, they empower us to use the digital world to its fullest potential.

Technological Literacy

The first of these new literacies is technological literacy-knowledge of mathematics, coding, and basic engineering principles. Today’s “digital natives” have grown up immersed in digital technologies and possess the technical aptitude to utilize the powers of their devices fully. But although they know which apps to use or which websites to visit, they do not necessarily understand the work­ings behind the touchscreen. People need technological literacy if they are to understand machines’ mechanics and uses. In much the same way as factory workers a hundred years ago needed to understand the basic structures of engines, we need to understand the elemental principles behind our devices. This empowers us to deploy software and hardware to their fullest utility, maximizing our powers to achieve and create.

I found this is very interesting as I am experimental artist/ animator and associate lecturer,  working with technology its a tool that is a vital part of my creative  craft. I’m fascinated by what future of technologies have to offer design and education,  for my own practice I’m working on a project integrates the use of virtual reality technology, motion decking devices for audience interaction and to stimulate the users senses at the same time. technology literacy plays a big role in universities and in our everyday lives, knowledge of technology it is very important as it helps us to function effectively and communicate across the globe from our classrooms or around us in our daily lives. Having huge storage Computers are used to help students research and complete assignments as they allow them to access information quickly, the collaborate between human and technology to create positive change around us. It is crucial  that we all learn how to use and  have some understanding of technology, students and teachers depend on  technology to learn about their different subjects and interact with other tutors and peers. using technology enables them to create blogs, audio and videos, using the different software products and creating apps. For these reasons I feel that is  why it is  essential that we are educated to become technology literacy, as this type skills are important to create diverse learning experience in our universities and work place. As Joseph Aoun  argues for the need for better and continuous education to keep up with changing technology. and artificial intelligence & future of education.


Whitehead, A.N. 1929. Universities and their Function. In The Aims of Education and other essays. The Free Press. pp91-101. (pdf attached)

“Teachers should be alive with thoughts”

This brings us to the participants in this adventure, to you the students and to us the teachers, those who impart knowledge, and to Whitehead’s plea that “teachers should be alive with thoughts.” It is not enough to ask students to take knowledge and use it. We teachers are responsible to impart information in a way that encourages you students to turn what could be (in other hands and circumstances) “inert knowledge” into active, vibrant, engaged tools. It is this area, teachers, that I turn to now and that I am certain will concern every one of you in the coming years. Here at the University of Chicago, you will find yourself engaging with many teachers. They will teach you formally in the seminar room, laboratory, and lecture hall, and informally in their offices, your dorms, in coffee shops, and perhaps in their homes. They will teach deliberately and accidentally, by lesson plan and by example. They will hold ranks and titles within the University that mean little to you: named professors, lecturers, visiting scholars. Some of them will be Nobel laureates; others will have just defended their dissertations and stepped across the line from student to professor. They will have published scholarly books, given papers at international conferences, advised governments, and composed concertos. They will have mapped the genome, excavated dinosaur bones, and exhibited at major international museums. Some will have been at the University for decades and won teaching awards and recognition, others will be facing a class for the first time. What they will all have in common is that every one of them will have an effect upon you, whether they intend to or not. This effect might manifest itself immediately, of course. But it might also creep up on you slowly. I’d like to tell you something about how we select these people as you begin your studies.


Ian Munday 23/2/2018


The Inclusive Teaching Unit uses, as one of its key theories, critical pedagogy. In preparation for the start of the course we would like you to watch the following 14 minute film on Critical Pedagogy from the Friere Project:

What are the central concerns of critical pedagogy?

The dominant beliefs of critical pedagogy, in particular as it is outline by Paulo Freire, is how the classrooms is assembled in which teachers and students learn together. Critical pedagogy allows the students to speak with greater confidence about knowledge they already possess.

Wink sum up, why does critical pedagogy matter? Kids matter—that’s why. Our future matters—that’s why. It is as simple as that. It also is something we all know. This is serious business we are talking about. Students and teachers are hurting. We in education are a mirror of society. Critical pedagogy challenges our long-held assumptions and leads us to ask new questions, and the questions we ask will determine the answers we get. Critical pedagogy gives voice to the voice- less; gives power to the powerless. Change is often difficult, and critical pedagogy is all about change from coercive to collaborative; from transmission to transformative; from inert to catalytic; from passive to active. Critical pedagogy leads us to advocacy and activism on behalf of those who are the most vulnerable in classrooms and in society Wink, 2005, p. 165.

In what ways does critical pedagogy relate to UK Higher Education?

Students need the freedom and encouragement to determine and discover who they are and to understand that the system shouldn’t define them – but rather give them the skills, knowledge and beliefs to understand that they can set the agenda. Educators must be prepared to embrace a radical pedagogy and believe that each school should be one of freedom that provokes students to fight against the corridors of power and enforce equality for themselves and others.

How does critical pedagogy relate to your own practice?

Wink sum up, why does critical pedagogy matter? Kids matter—that’s why. Our future matters—that’s why. It is as simple as that. It also is something we all know. This is serious business we are talking about. Students and teachers are hurting. We in education are a mirror of society. Critical pedagogy challenges our long-held assumptions and leads us to ask new questions, and the questions we ask will determine the answers we get. Critical pedagogy gives voice to the voice- less; gives power to the powerless. Change is often difficult, and critical pedagogy is all about change from coercive to collaborative; from transmission to transformative; from inert to catalytic; from passive to active. Critical pedagogy leads us to advocacy and activism on behalf of those who are the most vulnerable in classrooms and in society Wink, 2005, p. 165.

In what ways does critical pedagogy relate to UK Higher Education?

Students need the freedom and encouragement to determine and discover who they are and to understand that the system shouldn’t define them – but rather give them the skills, knowledge and beliefs to understand that they can set the agenda. Lectures must be prepared to embrace a radical pedagogy and believe that each lesson should be one of freedom that provokes students to fight against the dominance of power and enforce equality for themselves and others.




I enjoyed the micro teach, it was very interesting mixing and switching the role of teachers and learners in the same lesson. Whereby, everyone had to be a teacher and student in the session. It was great to participate as everyone teachings was so diverse it was great fun, and we all shared something different. For my teaching session, I created the image below titled ‘Visible Black’ to highlight the invisibility of black female artist work. I have also taken a quote from the book Inside The Ivory Tower. ‘White feminists claim to expose gendered discrimination (Pollock, 2003), this framework often excludes the experiences, stories of oppression and struggles of black women (Carby,1997; Hooks, 1994)’. Taken from Inside The Ivory Tower, Chapter 10, written by Aisha Richards. The reaction from everyone was incredible, questions were initiated for group discussions. everyone thought that I should have just used the image because it was powerful by itself, and also, I should not have told them that I created the image.

This piece was created to open a space in people’s mind where they can have a moment to understand what we are trying to do as black women artist to be visible. I have used colours for emotions and layers for expressive power and manipulation to convey a message of strength and visibility by whatever means necessary, to manifest feeling in different ways in everyone.


Interactive group discussions about the image

It was amazing I was able to experience various method of teaching in one lesson, it was very beneficial because I was able to take into account my role as a student and what they are experiencing, and also the teacher experiences while delivering a 5 minutes lesson.

Micro teach lesson created a platform for student to engage in on going in class discussions. It was our chance for tutor and peers feedback at the same time, and for us as students to interact and engaging with one another with their ideas, such as gender inequality, race, and integral task as how to peel a pomegranate, which was my favourite as we got to eat it after.


Teaching and Learning Practice:Race

How could you apply the resources to your own teaching practice?

I would apply the resources to my own teaching practice as part of a workshop, and using Shade of Noir diverse resources as starting point http://shadesofnoir.org.uk/ to discover Race culture and identity from articles and video etc. For instance Shade of Noir has created the ideal environment that is safe and supportive space for both students and teachers to connect with like-minded people to discuss and reflect on individual issues in the relation academic and creative practice. Also Shade of Noir created Teaching within to address the shortage of teachers of colour in all Universities. I would mix students from different racial background in groups of 5, creating an atmosphere where students are relaxed and able express themselves and share their own diverse experiences, finding out about each other identity and cultures. Each group would create a diversity moodboards to represent their races, identity and cultures. Then class discussion and feedback around each group work.


How could you integrate the research/work your students do on this subject into your teaching/professional practice?

Shade of Noir website as has a wealth of diverse context, from education, social issues, arts and media to help the student explore race and ethnicity within their group. They can work together in small groups to create a piece of art work, that represent diversity, race, identity and cultures.

Can you cite example? You will share your thoughts within your groups and comment and share further resources you use in your own contest.







Discuss two things you learnt from the text.  And one question/provocation you have about the text.

Two things I learned from the text: I found that A Pedagogy of Social Justice Education: Social Identity Theory, Intersectionality, and Empowerment by Aaron J. Hahn Tapper.  After reading Hahn Tapper article, it was interesting he highlighted the conflict between the Jews And the Palestinian, I felt that it was more about religion, politics and money rather than race. A conflict of war between the Jewish and Palestinian, whereby, the Jews are the oppressor and the Palestinian are the oppressed. I can see the difference and inequalities and social justice because the Palestines land was taken from them and they have to live a life without freedom and inequality. And the different group need to work together to address this imbalanced. However, I can say that I haven’t learnt anything that I don’t already know. I’ll still keep an open mind on the situation. I have read Professor Kimberle Crenshaw articles, she is known for devising the term ‘Intersectionality’ whiles giving a talk on the lack of representation of black women in white feminism, she highlighted the struggles and conflict black women were facing with race, sexuality, gender, and class. For instance in doing so she gave a voice to feminist of colour. In addition, to the case study programs (page426), Shade of Noir Teaching Within programme I know about, and its already in place and is very successful. Shade of Noir has worked very hard to transform and implementing changes by addressing the imbalance of teachers and student of colour in dominantly white universities.

Freire explains the role that identity plays in the shaping and implementation of education. One of his most important arguments is that students’ identities need to be taken into account in all educational settings. They should not be approached as if everyone in the classroom, including the teacher, is starting from the same place in terms of social status and identity. Although virtually no one discounts the central role that teachers play in a given classroom, Freire extends this point, expounding on how a teacher’s social identities play as much of a role in a classroom environment as anything else. He says that an ideal educational experience exists between a teacher and students rather than emanating from a teacher to students. A teacher needs to create experiences with, and not for, students, integrating their experiences and voices into the educational experience itself (Freire 2006).  I can draw Freire’s ideas to help broaden my understanding about my own teaching and learning practices.

In relation to ‘Intersectionaliity’, I read a really interesting article on the subject by David Gillborn. Intersectionality, Critical Race Theory, and the Primacy of Racism Race, Class, Gender and Disability in Education. I have taken a short clip to share. ‘We live at a time when racist inequities continue to scar the economy, education, health, and criminal justice systems (Equality & Human Rights Commission [EHRC], 2010) but when merely naming racism as an issue is sufficient to generate accusations of “playing the race card”—the supposed “special pleading” that Derrick Bell’s “rules of racial standing” analyze so brilliantly (Bell, 1992, p. 111)—or, worse still, we are judged to be acting in ways that are racist against White people. At this time, it is more important than ever that we take our cue from Derrick Bell and have the courage to say the unsay-able and follow through in our actions. We can use intersectionality, but we must not be silenced by it. Bell’s legacy demands nothing less.’

The silence Room:

The room of silence is a very  personal and emotional space that many students of colour recognition and experience I can relate  to them. As black female  artist I have been through the similar experience, isolated in a ‘crit’ been the only black person in the room. Also similar to the students in the video  I witness a female BAME student from RCA, who was marginalised and isolated by her tutors and fellow student, she was made to feel like she was been bullied as well invisible with their silence about her work, and she was worried that this type of treatment might affect her grades, this was highlighted  in a heartfelt emotional speech  at the Shade of Noir Decolonising The Institution. 

The Latino student mentions in the video that  she counts the number of students of colour in her class was three in dominantly white space. So many students of colour have experienced this in many Universities around the world, counting the faces of  students and teachers of colour who they can relate to in a hostile racicalized environment.  However,  according to Booth and Ainscow, 2000.  “Inclusion in education is concerned with breaking down barriers to learning and increasing participation for all students, treating all learners on the basis of equality and non-discrimination.”  As Teachers we have the opportunity to make adjustment to accommodate all student needs, ensuring that all have an fair and equal opportunity to succeed.

I haver found  that after reading Inside The Ivory Tower that Institutions are still failing and they are moving very slow to address issue and this why interventions is an important aspect the inequalities and the marginalisation of people of colour. Because Academics and students are subject to race and gender discrimination and victimisation. This quote by Deborah Gabriel sum up the journey of people of colour the lack of diversity in Universities. “We choose to assimilate into an organisational structure and institutional space that was never created for us, and adopt the dominant social norms with the hope that our compliance will be rewarded – or we can choose in a myriad of ways, to resist. we choose to resist” (Deborah Gabriel, 2017).


Decolonising the Institution #2 | Shades of Noir

RCA Students’ Union invited Aisha Richards and the team at Shades of Noir into the RCA On April 11th 2018,  on DECOLONISING THE INSTITUTION. Shades of Noir champion social justice pedagogy and develops practices which centres the voices of the marginalised in the arts, culture and Higher Education … Continue reading Decolonising the Institution #2 | Shades of Noir


Zine launch: Decolonising the Arts Curriculum

Image: Decolonising the Arts Curriculum zine and call for further contributions


On Thurs 14 June staff from UAL and Arts SU, and UAL students, came together to celebrate the official launch of a new zine, ‘Decolonising the Arts Curriculum: Perspectives on Higher Education.’

Lucy Panesar, Educational Developer (Diversity & Inclusion), Teaching & Learning Exchange 

Over the last six months the Teaching and Learning Exchange has been working with the Arts Students Union to co-create a zine for staff and students to share thoughts, views and experiences of decolonising the arts curriculum in higher education.

Hansika Jethnani (Arts SU Education Officer 2016-2018), Rahul Patel (Researcher, Curator and Lecturer) and I came together because of our shared determination for race equality and our understanding that decolonisation plays a critical role in this. We identified the need for a platform to discuss decolonisation specifically in relation to the arts curriculum. It was essential that such a platform would be supported by the institution and would allow for diverse perspectives, on this complex and contested topic, from both students and staff at UAL. The decision was made to co-produce a zine, as a way of breaking down some of the barriers to expression that traditional academic publishing can create.

A call for submissions was made in March, and a wealth of responses were received on the why, what and how of decolonisation in relation to arts education in general and specific creative practices.  All submissions have been included, and offer personal, professional, creative and critical insights through a range of literary and visual media.

The launch event was held at UAL Central Saint Martins with a display of some of the zine contents.  Hansika and I opened the event with some background to the zine’s production, and then Rahul invited contributors up to the stage to speak.

Image: Contributor Abbas Zahedi (and child) talking about the project behind his front cover image.

It was at this moment that we recognised what it was we have created, when hearing the contributors explain how important it has been for them to have space to share their experiences in relation to decolonisation, and inevitably colonisation. Contributors spoke of their own ethnic and national identities in relation to Britain’s colonial past and ‘multi-cultural’ present. They spoke of the current political situation affecting those of the Windrush generation, of islamophobia, and other forms of prejudice and discrimination based on race and nationality which affect both students and staff.

We hope that the zine will be supportive in this respect, whilst also contributing to wider discourses around decolonisation, and helping to inform developments in arts education, for the benefit of all of our community. And we hope for the discussion to continue through further events and the online platform, which has been set up for further perspectives to be shared.

The zine launch display at is open and accessible to the general public in the reception area at UAL Central Saint Martins (King’s Cross) until 9 July.

UAL staff can access the zine online here online here: http://decolonisingtheartscurriculum.myblog.arts.ac.uk/ 

If you are external to UAL the zine can also be accessed online here.

Image: Zine launch display at UAL Central Saint Martins reception, until 9 July

 The above image and article is my contribution to the Zine Magazine.


This entry was posted in Inclusivity, News on June 20, 2018 by .

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 Someone sent me the link below regarding this story, it shocking that in 2018, student are still receiving racial abuse on a University campus. Thats their home they are suppose to be safe inside with no worries of been attack or hearing racial abuse hurled at them through their windows. the Universities are suppose to be a safe haven for students no matter what there race or creed.

2018 Attainment Conference 

I attended the 2018 Attainment Conference, on the 11 th July 2018.  organised by Lucy Panesa.  Well done Lucy, it was very interesting hearing about all the different much needed attainment interventions that UAL staff and students has put into place.  Below is the link and round up of the conference by Alison Annenberg


2018 Attainment Conference – here’s what you missed

On 11 July over 150 staff, from all colleges and services, came together for the 2018 UAL Attainment Conference to help address the persistent inequalities students are facing along the lines of race, nationality and class.  

Read about what took place, find links to learn more and some useful resources below.

 Dr Gurnam Singh opening keynote. Photo by Gareth Johnson. 

The conference opened with a keynote by Dr Gurnam Singh (Visiting Fellow in Race and Education) offering sector-wide updates, a critical look at differential outcomes for specific ethnic groups and an illuminating analysis of the awarding/assessment differential as a ‘complex’ problem. This was followed by a second keynote from Aisha Richards (Founder and Director of Shades of Noir) who helped us to look back at the work of individuals who have been promoting race equality and social justice over the years at UAL, and to critically reflect on our own privilege and power. 

Attendees then had a choice of parallel sessions to learn about interventions being made by both staff and students more recently at UAL. This included a workshop by Vikki Hill (Project Associate) on the newly named Creative Mindsets project which is being extended in 2018-19 to all UAL colleges, and a session with Terry Finnigan (LCF Head of Student Attainment) on the Make the Grade pre-assessment intervention at LCF, which is also be rolled-out to other colleges through AEM. Helen McAllister and Gareth Rees (UAL Language Centre) ran a session for delegates to learn more about the International Student experience and attainment, including a close look at the impact of language, and Angela Drisdale-Gordon (Head of Further Education) hosted a session showcasing a range of attainment interventions being made by staff and students across UAL, emphasising the importance of staff-student discussion and collaboration. 

Delegates participating in the Tell Us About It workshop. Photo by Gareth Johnson. 

The conference also made space for student experience to be understood through a range of media. In the Tell Us About It workshop led by Tabitha Austen (Shades of Noir) and Terry Finnigan, attendees learnt about the experience of students of colour (who have attained 1st or 2:1 degrees at UAL despite various disadvantages) through engaging with unique artefacts they have been commissioned by the project to produce.  

During the conference breaks, attendees were ‘Listening to Others Speak’ (sic) in a sound installation by artist, lecturer and MA Academic Practice participant Victoria Salmon, and for the final session, delegates came back together for a forum theatre activity led by artist, educator and MSc Fashion Psychology student E Okobi. The session, entitled ‘Acting Up’ involved student/graduate performers embodying and enacting qualitative data collected by Dr Duna Sabri, of the experience of international students and students of colour at UAL. This interactive and emotive session got delegates thinking, feeling and moving from being spectators of oppression to being ‘spect-actors’ in breaking oppression.  

E Okobi and performers leading ‘Acting Up’. Photo by Gareth Johnson. 

Delegates received a hard copy of the Decolonising the Arts Curriculum zine, and a conference packcontaining additional resources. Feedback from the day has been overwhelmingly positive, with delegates saying they felt informed and enlightened by the content, and empowered by the opportunities to actively engage.  

Throughout the day we had artist in residence Jheni Arboine capturing activity and interactions through drawing (some of which are depicted here) and a filmmaker who we are working with to produce resources for our continued work in addressing these inequalities in the academic year ahead. 

Drawing by Jheni Arboine of the ‘Acting Up’ forum theatre session led by E Okobi. 

Read more about the conference from this Shades of Noir review by Rayvenn D’Clark.
Conference write-up by Lucy Panesar, Education Developer (Diversity and Inclusion, ADS

Teaching and Learning Practice: Faith

Teaching and Learning Practice: Faith

How could you apply the resources to your own teaching practice?

I would apply the resources to my own teaching practice as part of a assignment to explore faith identity. http://religiousliteracy.myblog.arts.ac.uk/ UAL has created a safe space to discuss issues in the relation academic and creative practice. After looking at Angela Drisdale Gordon pen portraits, which is icebreaker activity. I would also use this icebreaker activity to help create an environment where students are comfortable to share experiences, and beliefs without been pressured. As  Kwame Anthony Appiah highlights that it is important to allow students to display the meaning of ‘their’ faith and avoid societies preconceptions.  Also I would direct the students to the chaplaincy within UAL when dealing with issues associated with there pastoral needs.  As   Appiah claims that in thinking about religion, we have focused too much on what religious people believe and not enough on what religious people do.

Appiah, argues that there are three dimensions to religion. Yes, one of those dimensions is a body of belief. However, Appiah argues “we over-emphasise the importance of belief at the expense of two other dimensions: the rituals and social norms that people carry out as part of religious practice, and the communities within which religious practice takes place”. (Taken from Journalist, Sonia Sodha article from the Reith Lectures).

How could you integrate the research/work your students do on this subject into your teaching/professional practice?

I would  use  Angela Drisdale Gordon icebreaker activity to help student to research in groups, so that they can work together in their groups to create a piece of art work, that represent the diversity of their faith and spirituality.

Can you cite example? You will share yours thoughts within your groups and comment and share further resources you use in your own contest.

ace, Religion and Free Speech (Shades of Noir, 2016)

Pen Portraits (LCF), Angela Drisdale Gordon

The groundbreaking artists challenging religion through art (Dazed, 2016)





Discuss two things you learnt from the text.  And one question/provocation you have about the text.

Two things I learned from the text: Religion in Britain: Challenges for Higher 
Education.’ Stimulus paper (Modood & Calhoun, 2015)

This is the first time that I have read religious literacy, and I found Stimulus paper by Tariq Modood and Craig Calhoun very interesting.

Tairiq Madood essay was very much enlightening by a way of its historical content, he highlighted that Britain is seeing flourishing of religion based identities.  Whilst I might not agree with his some of views, I’m open minded and respect others and their religious beliefs.

  1. Britain is seeing a flourishing of religious or ethno-religious or religion-based identities; these are most prominent among post-immigration minorities. Identity assertions usually cause identity reactions, and this is partly happening in relation to some white non-believers beginning to describe themselves as (culturally) Christian (though not as much as in Germany)and perhaps even more asserting a reactive secularist identity (though not on the extreme scale of France).
  2. The second point is that most religions require the observance of rules of piety, and Britain is experiencing such practice-based religions re-entering the public space after quite a long period in which such religion has been eroded away or transformed into private belief. Both these trends give the impression of continuing and each has implications for the public sphere.


Inclusive Teaching and Learning ‘Gender’

How could you apply the resources to your own teaching practice?

I would apply the resources to my own teaching practice in the perspective of equal opportunity. http://supportingtransstudents.myblog.arts.ac.uk/ UAL has made available a wide range equality issues in the context of gender equality. However, I would continue on this subject by looking at it, in a wider collective meaning.  Higher education has a key role to play in deconstructing the issues connected to contemporary social movements on emergent formations of power. This includes challenging the anti-education, anti-expertise and anti-intellectual strands of post-truth populism, as well as paying attention to the ways that gendered inequalities are potentially reproduced through pedagogical spaces and formations of difference (Burke, Crozier, and Misiaszek 2017Burke, P. J.G. Crozier, and L.Misiaszek2017Changing Pedagogical Spaces in Higher Education. Diversity, Inequalities and MisrecognitionLondonRoutledge. [Google Scholar]).


How could you integrate the research/work your students do on this subject into your teaching/professional practice?

Using my above response, I would focus on the topic of Gender Equality and Diversity to look at the subjects in terms of books, journal articles and online resources, exhibitions that are related to the subject. I would encourage the student to work in pairs and create a mind map,  the word ‘gender’ would be there starting point to produce ideas and words that relate to and around gender to be used for research, writing and class discussions.

Here is an interesting  paragraph taken from Monica Mookherjee book, from the introduction. How can one negotiate and integrate the claims of feminism and multiculturalism through a discourse of rights? This is a timely question: the apparent opposition between feminist and multicultural justice is a central problem in contemporary political theory. It also responds to a deep suspicion about invoking a political discourse that is accused of being either eurocentric, androcentric or both. In this book Monica Mookherjee draws on Iris Young’s idea of ‘gender as seriality’ in order to reconfigure feminism in a way that responds to cultural diversity. She contends that a discourse of rights can be formulated and that this task is crucial to negotiating a balance between women’s interests and multicultural claims. The argument is worked through in the context of a set of difficult dilemmas in modern liberal democracies: *the resurgence of the feminist controversy over the Hindu practice of widow-immolation (sati) *gender-discriminatory Muslim divorce laws in the famous Shah Bano controversy in India *forced marriage in South Asian communities in the UK.

Examples cited:

Women’s rights as multicultural claims : reconfiguring gender and diversity in political philosophy / Monica Mookherjee. Publisher: Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 2011.

Gluck Art and Identity/ Edited by Amy de la Haye and Martin Pel. Publisher: Yale University Press 

Diversity in Disney films [electronic resource]: critical essays on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and disability / edited by Johnson Cheu.


Diversity in gender and visual representation: a commentary

Adrienne Evans

Pages 473-479


https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jun/22/the-age-of-patriarchy-how-an-unfashionable-idea-became-a-rallying-cry-for-feminism-today (Charlotte Higgins).

Discuss two things you learnt from the text.  And one question/provocation you have about the text.

   Two things I learned from the text:

  1.  Patriarchy is deep-rooted which we are subjected to from childhood.
  2. Patriarchy teaches certain views on how we are suppose to behave. For instance, Bell Hooks own life example, how her father beat her with a stick for being more dominant than her brother, alsoTerrence Real’s son interest in girls clothing, and his friends expressing to him that boys were not expected to behave in that way.  

this was taken from an interesting article by Charlotte Higgins. The concept of “patriarchy” has offered itself as the invisible mechanism that connects a host of seemingly isolated and disparate events, intertwining the experience of women of vastly different backgrounds, race and culture, and ranging in force from the trivial and personal to the serious and geopolitical. For it allows us to ask, according to the philosopher Amia Srinivasan, “whether there is something in common between the Weinstein affair, the election of Trump, the plight of women garment workers in Asia and women farm workers in North America, and the Indian rape epidemic. It allows people to ask whether some machine is at work that connects all the experiences they’re having with all the experiences others are having.” The return of “patriarchy” raises the question: does the naming and understanding of this invisible mechanism offer the key to its destruction?

Watch the film: Pay it No Mind- The life and times of Marsha P.Johnson:

Discuss any reflections you have on the film.

I have never heard of Marsha P Johnson until I watched the video. This was a fascinating documentary, Johnson was an extraordinary strong black American transgender, LGBTQ rights activist who was murdered on July 6th 1992 at the age of 46. She was at the centre of racial justice and gay liberation. She was part of the Stonewall riots. created S.T.A.R (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionariers), and modelled for Andy Warhol and also a drag artist and prostitute. It was very sad that Johnson was harassed by trans-phobic hatred from people while walking down the streets, and discriminated by those in authority including police brutality. It was a bit sad to watch and seeing that Johnson was treated extremely cruel for been herself and yet she wouldn’t harm anyone.  “Marsha P. Johnson could be perceived as the most marginalized of people — black, queer, gender-nonconforming, poor. You might expect a person in such a position to be fragile, brutalized, beaten down. Instead, Marsha had this joie de vivre, a capacity to find joy in a world of suffering. She channeled it into political action, and did it with a kind of fierceness, grace and whimsy, with a loopy, absurdist reaction to it all.” Susan Stryker, an associate professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Arizona. Similar to Marsha P. Johnson most transgenders are subjected to cruel hate violence and are victims of severe discrimination in there everyday lives.


Presentation (6min) and Discussion

Creating my presentation was motivating going through my work and deciding what I wanted to cover. I think that my presentation was very colourful as I used lots of abstract images and gifs. I found myself speeding up the presentation as I spoke about thing that wasn’t in the presentation. I was grateful to be able to attend the Friday discussion group, as I was unwell and missed my group session. They were so welcoming a warm and friendly group. The group discussion was very interesting focus on Frierian concepts of social justice and Critical pedagogy, and at times the discussion got very heat especially when the topic that BME student are more likely not to complete there degree study unlike there white counterpart.

Collage of my 6 mins Presentation





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