There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack

Friday 8 December, 1.00 - 8.30pm

Autograph ABP

London, UK

Event, £5

Join the Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies Network (REPS) for an afternoon of talks and celebration to mark the 30th anniversary of There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack with its author Paul Gilroy and friends.

Published in in 1987, There Ain't No Black is one of the most influential books on race, racism and blackness in Britain, and among the most widely read. In this book, Paul Gilroy explores the racial and classed contours of post-Enoch Powell Britain opening up questions on diasporic formation, British racism and nationalism, and the revolutionary potential of black Atlantic culture.

The book emerges from an extraordinarily rich fissure of intellectual and cultural production whose fire still burns today. There Ain’t no Black is the inspiration for numerous artistic, musical, journalistic, activist and scholarly works and many authors and producers of these will be joining us for the celebrations.

From the late 1980’s, when the book was first published, social terms have changed, just as many questions remain the same. We will be exploring this transformation and its long standing interrogations. In what racialised, nationalist and classed moment are we living? How does cultural production, art and music comply with and exceed that? And, how is that being routed through modernity?

Join us in opening up these questions with Paul Gilroy and others, and to celebrate that engagement, those ongoing commitments, and its deep felt resonances.


1.00 - 2.20 PANEL 1 - ACADEMIC TAKES

Professor Les Back

Les Back teaches sociology at Goldsmiths College, London and is the authors of numerous book and papers on racism and ethnicity, popular culture and music, urban life, community, social divisions class, social theory and sociological methods.

Professor Gargi Bhattacharyya

Gargi Bhattacharyya in Professor of Sociology at University of East London. Her work and interests pertain to 'race' and racisms, sexualities, global cultures, the 'War on Terror', and, increasingly austerity and racial capitalism.

Professor Tina Campt

Tina Campt is Claire Tow and Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Africana and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, Director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women, and Chair of the Africana Studies Department at Barnard. Professor Campt’s published work explores gender, racial and diasporic formation in black communities in Germany, and Europe more broadly.

Professor Shirley Tate

Shirley Tate is a qualitative researcher interested in intersectional thinking. In her writing, research and teaching she draws on Black feminist, gender, critical ‘race’, queer, post colonial and Caribbean decolonial theory within her overall focus on Black Atlantic diaspora studies and emerging identifications.



Hew Locke

Hew Locke is a sculptor and visual artist. His work explores questions of power, globalization, movement, cultures, ships and boats, and packaging. His work is included in numerous collections including The Pérez Art Museum Miami, The Tate Gallery, The Brooklyn Museum, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Imperial War Museum, The British Museum and The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds.

Ingrid Pollard

Ingrid Pollard is a photographer, media artist and researcher. Pollard has developed a social practice concerned with representation, history and landscape with reference to race, difference and the materiality of lens based media. Her work is included in numerous collections including the UK Arts Council and the Victoria & Albert Museum. She lives and works in London UK.

Others TBC


Followed by Q&A with audience

Gary Younge

Gary Younge is editor-at-large at the Guardian. In addition to his feature and columns for the Guardian he is writes a monthly column for The Nation, "Beneath the Radar". He has published a number of books including Another Day in the Death of America (2016)


5.30- 8.30pm AFTER PARTY


Lambros Fatsis: is a DJ/selector who spins dancehall remix, hip- hop remix and Caribbean bashment. He used to run a weekly all-vinyl radio show on the pirate radio station

Wrongtom is a record producer and DJ from South London, signed to TruThoughts label. He is responsible for the Wrongtom Meets… series, which includes collaborations in dub with Ragga Twins, Deemas J, and Duppy Writer with Roots Manuva.

Others TBC



Irene Fubara-Manuel
Border Ritual
This film/animation explores, Martiniquan thinker Edouard Glissant’s notion of opacity in relation to her own body as it moves through border sites. Fubara-Manuel is a PhD student in Media Practice at the University of Sussex. 

Rabz Lansiquot
A short experiment using spare footage from 'The New Frontier', a short doc made in collaboration with Aiyana Gane and Violet Marchenkova. 'The New Frontier' explores the links between the process of gentrification and that of settler colonialism, taking Brixton, the area where Lansiquot was born and raised, as its subject. This piece is a short audiovisual document of the Brixton they want to see disappear. It draws on Imani Robinson and Ciaran Finlayson's concept of ‘The Black Drift’, which explores the psycho-geographical contours that encourage or discourage Black passage through, often urban, space. This piece is a realisation of the Brixton that I would feel able and eager to drift through, of a home almost lost. Lansiquot is a filmmaker, DJ and member of the sorryyoufeeluncomfortable collective.

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Additional Info

Autograph ABP
Rivington Place
London EC2A 3BA

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The entrance is on the side of the building. We are fully accessible.

We are located in the heart of Shoreditch, a short walk from Old Street, Liverpool Street and Shoreditch High Street stations.
Buses: 26, 43, 48, 55, 67, 149, 205, 242 and 271