Inherited: All Our Names

Inherited: All Our Names


Africa Writes 2021 Headline Event
Saturday 23 October, 17:30 – 19:00 (BST)
Knowledge Centre Theatre and British Library Player
Tickets: £10 / £8 / £5* 

A rhythmic evening of poetry, dance and sound exploring names we inherit.  

What does it mean to inherit the names given to us? Join us for an evening of exploration, movement and thought into how we embody the names we desire, defy the names that limit us and reclaim the names once lost to us. Featured is Sethembile Msezane’s short film ISIMO, where an ancestral matriarchal figure feels and holds the pain of the living, and Raymond Antrobus performing from his latest collection All The Names Given translated into BSL dance, plus more.

This event will be BSL interpreted.

This is a hybrid event which you can experience either in-person or through live stream on the British Library Player. The safety of our audiences are paramount, if you choose to attend in-person please note we will still be implementing socially distanced measures. Be prepared for an exciting evening brought to you with your safety and comfort in mind.




About Sethembile Msezane

Sethembile Msezane is an international mutli-award winning artist based in South Africa. Using interdisciplinary practice, Msezane creates commanding works heavy with spiritual and political symbolism. The artist explores issues around spirituality, commemoration and African knowledge systems. She processes her dreams as a medium through a lens of the plurality of existence across space and time, asking questions about the remembrance of ancestry. Part of her work has examined the processes of mythmaking which are used to construct history, calling attention to the absence of the black female body in both the narratives and physical spaces of historical commemoration.

About Raymond Antrobus

Raymond Antrobus was born in London, Hackney to an English mother and Jamaican father, he is the author of To Sweeten Bitter and The Perseverance. In 2019 he became the first ever poet to be awarded the Rathbone Folio Prize for best work of literature in any genre. Other accolades include the Ted Hughes award, PBS Winter Choice, A Sunday Times Young Writer of the year award and The Guardian Poetry Book Of The Year 2018, as well as being shortlisted for the Griffin Prize and Forward Prize. In 2018 he was awarded The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, (Judged by Ocean Vuong), for his poem Sound Machine. His poem Jamaican British was added to the GCSE syllabus in 2019.


Image credit: Sethembile Msezane in ISIMO


*Join our Arts and Culture Membership for 50% off all full price tickets!

Africa Writes 2021 returns from 4 – 24 October. You can join us in celebrating the imagination, pleasure and activism within contemporary African literature either online, at 180 The Strand and the British Library. Learn more about the 2021 festival headliners. You can also access 50% off all full ticket prices for The British Library events, consider signing up for the RAS Arts & Culture Membership.