A new polyvocal podcast tells the story so far of Inquilab / Ink-Lab; an alternative reading group born from the Academic Enhancement team at UAL.
Outraged by the brutal murder of George Floyd many individuals within higher education (HE) were incensed, leading to a collective realisation of the imperative for transformative action. In response, Dr. Gurnam Singh, Jheni Arboine, and a small cohort of UAL staff and students made a decisive commitment to establish a distinctive reading group—Inquilab. This group distinguishes itself by embracing an unapologetically radical approach, with its foundation rooted in the principles of decolonisation, anti-racism, and flattened hierarchies. Inquilab’s primary objective is to foster an authentic space where UAL staff and students can converge, encouraging the exploration and contemplation of radical pedagogy and practices within a supportive, open, and organic space.
In this podcast we hear from Inquilab’s founders about the context, values and ideas that were behind its beginnings and how it has since developed into its 3rd year. Participants and contributors tell us what brings them back and how the unique qualities and approaches that Inquilab embraces makes it a very different kind of discursive space. We hear about what it means to be able to bring your true self to a studio setting and how that fundamentally reconfigures hierarchies to create a greater sense of belonging and community for both staff and students.
Section 1 – Introduction (9m22s): Tells the story of how Inquilab began, what worldwide political events and moments led to the sense of urgency that brought it to being.
Section 2 – What does an Inquilab session feel like? (10m46): We hear what it is like to participate in an Inquilab session… what methodologies and approaches it embraces to create an inclusive environment. We hear extracts from an Inquilab session at LCC in July 2023
Section 3 – Self, truth and lived experience (7m46s): Participants and organisers describe what it means to be able to bring your authentic self to an Inquilab session as well as the impact of allowing space for lived experience within pedagogy.
Section 4 – Decoloniality (2m19s): Organisers describe how theories of decolonisation underpin the reading group.
Section 5 – Community and hopes for the future (4m32s): We hear about Inquilab as a safe and welcoming meeting point for staff and students to discuss openly about pressing issues and its function as a cross-college community.
For more information about Inquilab please visit inquilab.myblog.arts.ac.uk.
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Jheni Arboine, Nadia Idle, Deshna Mehta, Dr Gurnam Singh, Dr. Manrutt Wongkaew
Production and Editing:
This podcast has been created and edited by Gemma Riggs
Thank you to Shaheed Bhai Mewa Singh for allowing us to use their music in this podcast
Sound recording credits:
Tim Kahn for the recordings of a Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, Oregon, 7th June 2020