RE:TENSION Toolkit Workshop

Wednesday 9th November

Using film and debate to tackle racism in higher education: A toolkit and training session for universities (LBU Colleagues only)



Re:Tension is a short 20 minute film that follows Thapelo, a bright and capable university student, on a day where he is unwittingly forced to question the judgements of his tutors and peers, and delve deeper into his own actions, choices and beliefs.

Re:Tension addresses the topic of institutional racism and the gap in student retention amongst BAME (Black, Asian and Minority, Ethnic) students within British universities. The film was inspired by analysing statistical data that highlighted the unexplained dropout rate of BAME students. The film attempts to provide an real insight into unconscious racial harassment within the higher education system and micro-aggressions that often go unnoticed.

The toolkit

The toolkit, developed by Senior Teaching Fellow Syra Shakir in collaboration with Ricardo Barker, uses Re:Tension and the aftermath debate to openly challenge racism and discrimination. It encourages group discussion around accountability and responsibility, uses a theoretical model titled ‘The Forced Silence’ and refers to two of the five principles of Critical Race Theory essential in the fight against discrimination; The Voices of People of Colour and Interest Convergence.

How is it delivered?

Following the screening of Re:Tension (run time: 20 minutes), Syra and Ricardo will begin the aftermath debate. The audience will be split into groups with opportunities to discuss the film, how it made them feel and feedback to the group. Attendees will be encouraged to share personal experiences and reflect on racial inequality in their institutions. It is anticipated that the University will come away with actions that can be implemented.

Who should attend?

All staff members – lecturers, researchers, professional services, Leadership team, Executive – we are especially encouraging managers with line management responsibility to join us for this session.

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