The killing of George Floyd, an African American, in the United States triggered protests across the United States. They gradually spread also to the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium and other European countries where people marched in solidarity with African Americans and called for questioning of their colonial pasts and removal of some of the statues celebrating such heritage. The effect of George Floyd’s death has also reached Poland where people from Black Communities have renewed their calls to reshape the perception of black people in the country, as demonstrated in recent protests outside the US embassy in Warsaw and an online discussion #Dontcallmemurzyn. In this seminar, we examine the understanding of race and racism in Poland in the light of latest thematic studies and in relation to the aforementioned events.
- Margaret Amaka Ohia-Nowak is a Polish-Nigerian linguist, critical discourse analyst and anti-racist educator. She facilitates cross-cultural communication trainings and anti-discrimination workshops across different age groups in Poland. She received her doctoral degree on racism in the Polish language from the University of Wrocław. She was a Fulbright scholar at the University of California at Berkeley, and Visiting scholar at the Centre for Race, Ethnicity and Migration in London. She authored and co-authored lesson scenarios, educational materials and scientific publications on anti-black racism, racist language and discursive representations of people of African descent in the Polish media. She collaborates with various academic and non-academic organisations across Poland.
- James Omolo is a Kenyan living in Poland. He is the founder of Africa Connect Foundation, an advocacy organization on Human Rights issues affecting People of African Descent. James is a passionate activist, a UN fellow 2019, and author of two books on race and racism in Poland – Strangers at the gate: Black Poland, and Crossing the color line: Interracial marriage and biracial identity; and Chinese foreign policy in Sudan and, Poland and Africa: past, present and future on African foreign relations. James has lectured at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS) in Warsaw, Centre for Postgraduate Studies and Training on ‘Africa Business and Beyond’.
- Tonia Ugwu is Polish-Nigerian model from Gdansk. As a model, she has served as the face of many fashion and cosmetic products in different countries in Europe including in Poland. In addition to her modelling work, Tonia is a passionate activist currently working on Black-Polish history, including Poland-Africa relationship.
- Bolaji Balogun a Nigerian citizen who received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Leeds and previously held a Leverhulme Trust Study abroad fellowship at Krakow University of Economics, Poland where he was a lecturer at the department of European Studies. In 2020, Bolaji moved to the University of Sheffield to take up the position of a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. His research focuses on Blackness and Racialisation in Central and Eastern Europe, and his academic works have appeared in prestigious journals such as Ethnic and Racial Studies and The Sociological Review. In addition to his academic outputs, Bolaji writes regularly for media outlets such as the Sociological Review Blog; Open Democracy, LSE Blogs, Discover Society, Baltic Worlds, and The Muslim News, and he also serves as a peer-reviewer for a number of academic journals.
Moderators: Konrad Pędziwiatr & Jan Brzozowski
The event will be held on the 2nd of July 2020 as a Zoom seminar. The meeting will start at 7:30 PM.
Link to the Zoom meeting:
Meeting ID: 993 3728 4465