BlackFest Festival 2021 – Diversity Dialogues Part 4

Sunday 26 September 2021

Join Diversity Dialogues PART4 -continuing the conversation: inclusion and diversity with UK nationwide perspective with exciting panellists


Join exciting panellists as we continue the dialogue on inclusion and diversity from UK nationwide perspective with our amazing line up.

Zena Edwards

A poet and performer who uses song, movement and global influences as a jump-off for her words.

Zena has been involved in performance for 27 years – as a writer/poet performer, facilitator, creative project developer and vocalist after graduating from Middlesex University. She studied storytelling and performance at The London International School for Performing Arts and is published in several anthologies including Margaret Busby’s Daughters of Africa(Myriad Editions), Dance the Guns to Silence (Flippedeye publishing), and Nights Of Dispossessed: Riots Unbound (Columbia Books).

Zena has 20 years of mentoring experience with young and emerging artists in professional arts development and creative campaigning for social justice. She is a passionate advocate for climate and environmental justice, decolonisation, race and power and she is currently lead artist for diversity and inclusion for the Culture Declares Emergency Movement.

As a multidisciplinary collaborator, Zena has worked as consultant, writer and poet with internationally acclaimed choreographer and dancer Akram Khan (Xenos), Visual Artist – Theaster Gates (Soul Manufacturing Company) and radical Film Maker Fahim Alam, (Riots Reframed), and The Last Poets.

She is founder and creative director of Verse in Dialog – an arts and engagement social enterprise that champions arts that serve through decolonisation, climate and environmental justice, and personal and community well-being. .

Victoria Evaristo is an Actor, director and freelance drama tutor from Liverpool trained and based in London. Trained at the Guildhall School of Music and drama. She is an Actor, director and freelance drama tutor Previous theatre includes: EXTRACT(Soho theatre) Where is my Vagina (Wow Festival Queen Elizabeth Hall) Extract (Soho Theatre) Baring the Weight (New Diorama) The Rally (Stockwell playhouse)Big Bad world(Comedy Central) Ma Joyce’s Tales from the Parlour( Oval House) Do you know where your daughter is? (Hackney Empire) Angel Point (New Peckham Varieties Theatre), Tell Me You Love Me, (Landor), Sankofa, (QEH) Belle (Southwark Playhouse), Big Splash (Oily Cart) Treemonisha (BAC) Soul Sisters Melody (Everyman Liverpool) and numerous advert campaigns. Recent directing work includes In Search of a white Identity (Actors centre on demand festival) and directing a Summer school for British Youth Music Theatre.

Community activist, Buster Nugent made national news as he demonstrated during the aftermath of the horrific death of George Floyd in the US to highlight the traumatic effects of racism. Buster stood outside the main park gates at Princes Park every day for a week holding a sign and telling local press, “I am here just to say that ‘black men are not okay.’

Finishing the panel off is Liverpool’s Michelle Walker, Director of Akoma Arts, an active community member and visual artist. Her practice combines photography and design to create digital works on positive images of everyday life that take inspiration from people, places and symbols within African History and Culture.

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