See an interesting review by a participant in Britain on Trial – Gloria Dawson – on the Platform blog.
And here is some feedback from Shake! young poets Rotimi Skyers & Selina Nwulu:
What did you get out of the whole thing? What was the most interesting aspect for you??
Nathaniel reads
ROTIMI: There was a lot more of a connection between two generations. Normally we get preached at and hear what they are saying, but we don’t normally listen to what they went through. My parents grew up in that generation but it’s not like I really listen to them and I didn’t realise we have more in common than i thought, especially when we saw visual images – the films – that hooked me. 

The whole asylum seeking thing – I didn’t realise it was that bad. In school they don’t speak about them in a good way and I didn’t see it a major issue or how it relates to racism, but today it helped reinforce the fact that racism is an international issue which needs to be put on trial.
SELINA: To see the journey an idea takes from the Britain on Trial poem to the event was really cool, Hearing different perspectives on topics that I didn’t previously know about  was really interesting. The mini-lectures were the most interesting for me. I liked all of them but I really really liked the third one on displacement. All the speakers complimented each other complemented really really well.

What did you learn that was important for you? Or surprised you?
ROTIMI: I learnt that the young are still engaged – the kids who were younger than me. It reminded me of me lol! At that age I was doing stuff and engaged with my community. I was articulating my opinions and views at their age too, but I didn’t remember. I was that kid and I wasn’t taken seriously. But maybe now I’m older I’ve forgotten how many opinions they have and I’ve started to behave like the adults who use to talk down to me, but today i remembered knowledge can come from anywhere and anyone.

It went very well… at the end, when Fluid and Esther started asking questions, they were engaged, asking questions aimed at my generation… there was even a point we were fighting to speak and even started speaking over each other. Also how people organised without funding and how we have become too dependent on the state, this makes me remember the power of the people.

Esther and Fluid challenge
SELINA: I think that both the most important thing I learnt as well as what surprised me was- hearing from older people saying that nothing has really changed.  I heard this phrase at several points throughout the day from different people. I think being born in a generation where there is less obvious racism, not so overt and growing up where I was the only black family, it was interesting to hear that perspective. Hadn’t had room to hear that before or really think about it. Gave me lots to think about. [Did it depress you?] No not really, but maybe it should have done. It was more of an eye-opener. 

More feedback from Leeds Young Authors coming soon…
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