DMU to host talk on black experience in the media industry

bhm story

Mill Studios will host the event on Wednesday

By Matthew Chandler

The hardships of being black professionals in the film and media industry will be discussed at De Montfort University (DMU) tomorrow (WED OCT 10)

Beverley Cooper-Chambers will share her thoughts on how her Caribbean background has impacted on her work in the media, while Yvonne Connikie will talk more generally about the black experience in this industry.

The event at Mill Studios will form part of DMU Black History Month.

Jason Lee, professor of culture and creative writing at DMU, said he feels the audience will be able to resonate with both speakers regardless of their own background:

“Racism still exists so it’s important to address this in the film industry and in general.

“Obviously, it’s still about nepotism to a degree; if your father works in the industry, you work in the industry. That hopefully will be coming from the questions as well, particularly with Yvonne. It is about academic research as well; that will be useful for anybody.”

Beverley, a PhD researcher at DMU, is currently investigating why British Caribbean families are stereotyped in television dramas, and how slavery has impacted on these representations.

Jason hopes this relationship is something those attending will become more aware of, adding:

“Hopefully from Beverley, [the] impact of capitalism on the degradation of humanity, particularly large cities like London, Bristol, Liverpool [which] were built on slavery, so I hope people get an understanding of the devastating effect this has had.

“I hope some of the questions people have will be to do with modern-day slavery, which is funding the criminal economy, so there is a correlation between the legal and the illegal.”

Yvonne, a PhD researcher at the University of South Wales, specialises in Black British independent film and founded the Black Film Festival Wales.

Jason wants people to gain an understanding of what being in a minority group is like in the film industry:

“She [Yvonne] has loads of experiences from setting up festivals, exhibitions, and is an expert of black film itself, so I want people to get an understanding of the black experience in relation to black history and also the contribution of black filmmakers in general.

“I want people to be inspired by what both speakers are saying.”

To register for Wednesday’s talk, contact Jason at jason.lee@dmu.ac.uk.

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