Breaking Ground: International Showcases Celebrating British Diversity in Literature

Breaking Ground: International Showcases Celebrating British Diversity in Literature

15 Mar 2017, 14:30 - 15:30

Gallery Suite, Room 2, Grand Hall Gallery


2017 marks a time of change across the world as borders close and barriers go up. Yet populations continue to move and to diversify communities and societies around the globe. And, while those in the arts have been among the first to recognise the opportunities this brings, the publishing industry has struggled to keep up with such changes within British society.

Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions’ 2017-18 initiative, the Arts Council England-funded Breaking Ground project, sheds light on how it makes social, political and economic sense to back UK writers of colour and to put them centre stage. Taking British black, Asian and minority ethnic artists to Europe as well as making samples of their work available in translation, Breaking Ground offers the chance to build international networks and connections and to develop writers’ careers across borders and languages. 

This panel, featuring Speaking Volumes and three diverse writers, offers a fascinating insight as to why publishing needs to be more inclusive and how that can be achieved in today’s climate. There will also be free copies of the accompanying Breaking Ground brochure, which highlights 200 contemporary British writers of colour, including many up-and-coming voices who are not yet published. #BreakGround2017 



  • Sharmilla Beezmohun



    Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions 

    Sharmilla Beezmohun has worked in publishing since 1994. She co-founded Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions in 2010 with Sarah Sanders....

  • Caleb Femi



    Caleb Femi is the 2016-17 Young People’s Laureate for London and an English teacher, filmmaker, photographer and schools workshop leader. Caleb’s...

  • Colin Grant



    Colin Grant is a historian, author and BBC producer. His books include Negro with a Hat, a biography of Marcus Garvey; I and I The Natural Mystics...

  • Nick Makoha



    Nick Makoha is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow who represented Uganda at Poetry Parnassus as part of the Cultural Olympiad held in London. His...

  • Razia Iqbal


    Journalist and presenter


    Razia Iqbal is a presenter for BBC News: she is one of the main hosts of Newshour, the flagship news and current affairs programme on BBC World...


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