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19 January 2016  -  19 January 2016

Poetry and Activism – with Kayo Chingonyi



Free, booking required

Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial St, London E1 6AB

Humanities and Arts Research Centre (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Counterpoints Arts invite you to the the launch of a new creative collaboration around a residency for poet Kayo Chingonyi.

The arts and humanities have a vital role to play in shaping our responses to the current crisis of migration at Europe’s borders. We look to the arts not only for an understanding of who we are and how we relate to others, but also the kind of society we want to live in. A public conversation about these ideas has never been more urgently needed.

This new partnership between and Counterpoints Arts and Humanities and Arts Research Centre, Royal Holloway will provide the opportunity for a collaborative approach to work on current forced migration from within the arts and humanities, centred on a residency for the poet Kayo Chingonyi.

Drawing on research and expertise from across the two organisations and their wider networks, the residency will provide opportunities for the development of multi-disciplinary responses to forced migration through reflective forms of creative-critical practice. A central focus will be on responses to the language of forced migration, in particular on unpacking how certain terms and concepts –‘welcome’, ‘hospitality’, ‘crisis’– become freighted in public discourse.

At this launch event we will present the outline of the residency and invite you to respond to some of the central questions and concerns and suggest areas for research.

The event will also feature performances by poets and activists Saradha Soobrayen and Hamdi Khalif .

To reserve a free place for the launch event please email:

Kayo Chingonyi is a fellow of the Complete Works programme for diversity in British Poetry and the author of two poetry books, Some Bright Elegance (Salt, 2012) and The Colour of James Brown’s Scream (Akashic, 2016). As well as being widely published in journals and anthologies, Kayo has delivered lectures and readings from his work at venues and events around the world. He represented Zambia at Poetry Parnassus (a festival of world poets staged by the Southbank Centre as part of the Cultural Olympiad) and was awarded a Geoffrey Dearmer Prize as well as residencies from Kingston University, Cove Park, First Story, and The Nuffield Council on Bioethics. Kayo is Associate Poet at the Institute of Contemporary Arts from Autumn 2015 to Spring 2016.