Hi everyone. So if you follow me on Twitter you may have seen yesterday I was talking a little bit about how shocking it is that we aren’t taught about Partition in any great detail in school and it is something that is really glossed over. To be clear when you learn about Britain in the UK, at least when I was at school there are certain things that you keep going back to. So like we did the Tudors and the Victorians over and over and over again and depending on which teacher you got you did get a little bit more about, so like with the Victorians for example we did study aspects of the racism of the Enlightenment and aspects of where that focus on classification ended up propelling this idea of like white superiority and so on but we really only touched on that and it was only when I got to university in the US and I did critical race theory that we really analysed that in great detail But colonialism overall wasn’t really something that came into the narrative in my education in my compulsory education from the age of like 5 or whatever right up to the age of 17 when I finished school. In history classes the time periods I remember most learning about were: The War of the Roses and the Tudors over and over again and the Victorians over and over again and then you did the First World War and the Second World War and the way that the effects of the First and Second World Wars was spoken about was very much like “and then Europe sat around a table and divided up the countries” “and, you know, we didn’t have as many colonies anymore” and that was kind of it like there was no analysis of what this really meant. There was no focus on the people who were made into refugees from those actions. From the violence that ensued from those actions, from the real violence of colonial rule itself and the ways in which it affected people’s day to day lives it was very much seen, it was very much like kind of arms length but also quite micro whenever we studied history broadly I found myself looking back at it realising that we studied you know the kings and queens and the prime minister decisions and the kind of very small history where you don’t see the effects of it as much other than this big dates and times and big events and big battles and big approaches to it but that are also not inclusive of all the people who are affected by it. I’ve become increasingly aware of these huge gaps in my education in what happened in the world and I’m never going to be able to sit down and take in absolutely everything that happened in the world but I feel like I have a personal responsibility and I’m trying to hold myself accountable to it and educate myself on this front to know more about Britain’s history because Britain’s history is essential in understanding where we are today as like, as a Britain and understanding why we are in this political situation, why people can get away with calling refugees cockroaches, and playing with language in this way and using other people, especially Brown and Black people, as pawns in this larger narrative and why also, and this is something that I’ve felt over and over again, broadly speaking, I don’t want to speak for everyone, we’re quite good at embracing stories of black people in the US. People really threw their support behind films like Selma and Hidden Figures and so on which are important, vital films and I’m so glad that they exist and I want more and more of them with more and more Black film makers and Asian film makers and please, please more and more Latinx film makers and also people supporting them with their money I do feel very strongly like British Black, Brown history is just not spoken about It’s this feeling like “oh well that’s happening over there”. When you are looking at ethnicity the make up of the UK is different to the US, it’s a much whiter population frankly speaking overall. That’s not the case in like London, like London is such a metropolis and it’s brilliant and I love it but broadly speaking the UK doesn’t have as big of a population however that doesn’t mean that there weren’t Black and Brown people in our history, throughout our history and not all of them were servants or lower down. Some of them were extremely powerful. Some of them were extremely well connected. I definitely like enjoy putting up the bunting and having tea parties and you know going, I saw the Queen once and it was very exciting and all that stuff and I really do enjoy that stuff, I’m not going to pretend that I’m completely separating myself in some kind of purist sort of form but I have always had quite–I would say– healthy scepticism of nationalism and what it is showing to me over and over again is that it’s like these desperate grabs for its own survival. For the survival of the story in which we must believe in order to “justify” the actions taken in the name of our country. We can’t look at these issues in the eye because they call into question the “Greatness” and the inherent victor, like the winner, the hashtag-winner sense of Britain. That’s not only flawed in and of itself I think that’s just a travesty and kind of extremely inhumane and it also leads to these huge gaps in understanding about where we are today and like the kinds of questions and the kinds of things that are being said in our press today I would be interested to hear about firstly what your education was like especially in terms of colonial rule post colonialism was a bit more present in university but seeing as I didn’t really have that background I didn’t so much know to go looking for it so in some ways I did look at writing back and when I went abroad I also looked at other poets and Derek Walcott especially has been very influential to me It wasn’t really something I even considered because it just seemed like a very specific academic field rather than something that is a direct effect of Britain being in the world and the decisions that have been made in the name of this country not this country but also I mean this country is a whole other story I would be really interested in whether this is similar to your experience, how you learnt about colonialism in the world whether you I guess agree or have any other thoughts on the things that I’m saying in this video I would also be interested to know if colonialism or I guess that sense of like invasion felt separate from you because I remember learning about the Spanish and the Mexica–the Aztecs–and feeling so outraged and so horrified and just like in my heart just horrified that this could happen but having no recent parallel for it I felt like it was very separate and not something that I needed to look at or address in any real way because it was so in the past and part of that is privilege and looking the way I do despite being Mexican, like it is a matter of privilege but at the same time it’s also this huge chasm in my education that I frankly feel so uncomfortable about and so ashamed of but rather than just like sitting at home feeling ashamed of it I thought I would try to shine a little light on it Yeah, I think it’s vital to understanding why we are the way we are and why people feel like they can say the things that they can say and why it’s like institutionally supported. So that’s it for today see you tomorrow, probably. Bye.