Freedom in the City: Festival of Learning
April - October 2021

Freedm in the City

Freedom in the City: Festival of Learning is a new series of events coming out of Fairfield House, Bath, the former residence of Emperor Haile Selassie I and Empress Menen Asfaw of Ethiopia, in partnership with the University of the West of England.

Running from April - October 2021, the festival explores the legacy of the Ethiopian Royal Family living in the city of Bath, and is a wider celebration of Ethiopian and Rastafari cultures, and connections with the UK.

EVENTS
All events are free.
To attend any of the events, click the link to the ticket site below.

(If your event does not show up on the bookings site yet, please come back to visit as it will be there soon.)

 

APRIL

Tuesday 20th April, 6.30 – 8pm
Footsteps of the Emperor film screening + Q&A

Chaired by Rob Mitchell
Q&A with film’s Director Shawn Naphtali Sobers and Benjamin Zephaniah
To watch recording of the event – click here

 

Friday 23rd April, 7pm – 8pm
Representations of Saint George in Ethiopian art and culture
A journey into the fascinating Ethiopian manuscripts in the British Library collection.
Talk by Eyob Derillo
Chaired by Rev. Nigel Rawlinson, Bath Abbey
To watch recording of the event – click here

 

Monday 26th April, 6.30pm – 7.30pm
IMPERIAL EXILE
Exploring Emperor Haile Selassie’s time living and travelling in Britain – 1936 – 1940
Talk by Keith Bowers
Chaired by Marlene Bertrand
To watch recording of the event – click here

 

Friday 30th April, 7.30 – 8pm
Reasoning Room young people’s radio show
Topic – What are the Freedom in the City Awards?
Broadcast at 
www.imperialvoice.com
No booking required

 

MAY

Friday 14th May, 6.30pm – 8pm
Mystical connections between Bath and Ethiopia
Talk by Ras Benji
Chaired by Ras Hugo Makepeace
To watch recording of the event – click here

 

Monday 24th May, 6pm – 8pm

Contemporary Rastafari Art – symposium

Exploring the inspirations behind some of work of the world’s leading Rastafari artists.

Tafari Gallery curator Kingsley Jahsiah with 

Lois Cordelia, Colin Murray, Abba Yahuda Selassie and Ras Elijah Tafari
To watch recording of the event – click here

 

Friday 28th May, 7.30 – 8pm

Reasoning Room young people’s radio show
Broadcast at 
www.imperialvoice.com

No booking required

 

 

JUNE

Friday 4th June, 6.30 – 8pm
History and Theology of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Talks by Rev. Abate Gobena, Dr Cressida Marcus and Anansa Auguste
Chaired by Professor John Strachan
Book to attend – click here

 

Friday 11th June, 6.30 – 8pm

History and Theology of Rastafari Livity
Speaker – Ras Shango
Chaired by Aleema Gray
Book to attend – click here

 

Friday 25th June, 7.30 – 8pm

Reasoning Room young people’s radio show
Broadcast at 
www.imperialvoice.com

No booking required

 

 

JULY

Saturday 17th July, times tbc

King Solomon and Queen of Sheba Opera performance (in-person event)
by Composer Juwon Ogungbe

Guildhall, Bath (an in person event)  

Booking information tbc

 

Thursday 22nd, July, 6pm – 8pm

Emperor birthday symposium

Exploring the Residences of Emperor Haile-Selassie – Ethiopia, Jerusalem and UK

Palaces researcher Keren Kuenberg with guests

Booking information tbc

 

Friday 23rd July – 3 – 7pm

The Emperor’s Birthday Gathering
Livestream from Fairfield House

 

Friday 30th July, 7.30 – 8pm

Reasoning Room young people’s radio show
Broadcast at 
www.imperialvoice.com

No booking required

 

Saturday 31st July – 6.30 – 8pm
King Solomon and Queen of Sheba Opera – online screening event + Q&A
Watch the video of this epic opera and meet composer Juwon Ogungbe, 

producer Charlotte Lang, and members of the cast.
Q&A chaired by Sister Cee

Booking information tbc 

 

AUGUST

Monday 2nd August, 6.30 – 8pm
The story of Sylvia Pankhurst and the Anglo-Ethiopian Society
Talk by Dr Angela Raven-Roberts
Chaired by Dr Penelope Wickson
Book to attend – click here

 

Friday 6th August, 6.30 – 8pm

The Emperor’s Gift in Action – 
The African-Caribbean and Asian communities in Bath, and
fulfilling the wishes of the Emperor in the care for the elders at Fairfield House

Talk by Pauline Swaby
Chaired by Princess Black
Book to attend – click here

 

Monday 16th August, 6.30 – 8pm

My Ethiopia in Art
Artist talk by Rediat Abayneh
Chair – Jen Sharratt
Book to attend – click here

 

Friday 27th August, 7.30 – 8pm

Reasoning Room young people’s radio show
Broadcast at 
www.imperialvoice.com

No booking required

 

 

SEPTEMBER

Friday 3rd September, 6.30 – 8pm
The life and work of Empress Menen Afsaw

Speaker – Askala Selassie, Empress Menen Foundation
Chair – 
Oluwatosin Onile-Ere-Rotimi, Imperial Voice presenter

 

Saturday 18th September, Time tbc

Ethiopian Orthodox Service at Bath Abbey

Details tbc

 

Monday 20th September, 6 – 7.30pm
The Emperor’s closest friend – The Life and Work of Blattengeta Herouy
Speaker – Prince Dr Asfa-Wossen Asserate
Chaired by Dr Shawn Sobers
In partnership with Africa in Motion

 

Friday 24th September, 7.30 – 8pm

Reasoning Room young people’s radio show
Broadcast at 
www.imperialvoice.com

No booking required

 

Saturday 25th September, 1 – 3pm

African Queens symposium
Symposium exploring Black women in leadership, and Bath’s generations of influential Black women.
Speakers tbc
Chair – Christelle Pellecuer

 

 

OCTOBER

Saturday 2nd October, 6 – 8pm

Rastafari and music (talk)
Speakers – Nywanyi Aduke and Dr Lez Henry
Chaired by Natika Selassie

 

Friday 8th – 3 – 5pm

Researching Rastafari in academia
Symposium
Speakers tbc

Organiser – Aleema Gray

 

Saturday 9th October, 6 – 8pm

Fairfield House in Bath’s heritage identity 

Symposium

The session will seek to locate Fairfield House and HIM’s legacy within Bath’s 

broader heritage identity. Is it accepted as a core part? Or does it sit on the edge 

and need to find its own way independently, with messaging that is outside 

 the mainstream of Bath’s heritage history?

Chaired by Fairfield House CIC Chair William Heath, with guests tbc

 

Friday 15th October, 7.30 – 8pm

Reasoning Room young people’s radio show
What is Freedom in a future city?

Broadcast at www.imperialvoice.com

No booking required

 

Saturday 16th October – Closing Event, 6.30pm – early hours

Music performances and film screening

Specially commissioned music performance by Chloe Rose Laing and Mohamed Errebbaa, 

and screening of commissioned film by Yuko Edwards. Q&A

 

 

The festival is a partnership between Fairfield House and the following organisations.

 

University of the West of England

Digital Cultures Research Centre

Bath Abbey

Imperial Voice Radio

Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens Association

Critical Race and Culture Research Network

Bath Black Families Education Support Group

Ethiopian Orthodox Church UK


Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council 

 

The Team

Dr Shawn Sobers

Festival Director

 

Jennifer Sharratt

Festival Producer

Funded by and in partnership with

Imperial Voice radio
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Please note:
All of the events in this proposal have Covid-19 contingency plans to become online events in the event of another strict lockdown. Also please note that even if social life returns to normal all of the events will be recorded or streamed live, attracting audiences who are unable to travel, and reaching international viewers through these means.