An annual lecture in honour of Wales’ first black headteacher and Cardiff community activist Betty Campbell MBE will be hosted at the Senedd this Black History Month.
Paired with a screening of the documentary Black and Welsh and a conversation session with its director Liana Stewart who was brought up in Butetown, the two events at the Senedd on Thursday 27 October will place Welsh black identity, and the community of Butetown, centre stage.
Inaugural Annual Betty Campbell Monument Lecture
Held in partnership with Monumental Welsh Women and Cardiff Council, the lecture at midday on Thursday 27 October, at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay, will be delivered by Professor Olivette Otele, on the topic 'Celebrating the Infinite Power of Education’.
Professor Olivette Otele is an historian and author based in Newport and is a Distinguished Professor of Legacies and the Memory Slavery at SOAS, University of London. She is a Fellow and former Vice President of the Royal Historical Society, a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and has been a judge of the International Man Booker Prize.
Black and Welsh
Later the same day, the Senedd hosts a screening of the documentary Black and Welsh, which examines the history and future of Black identity in modern Wales.
The 6.00pm screening is followed by an In Conversation session with film-maker Liana Stewart who is from Butetown, Cardiff, discussing her life and inspiration for the documentary.
The film captures actors, comedians, business figures and community heroes as a snapshot of life in Wales. The 30-minute documentary celebrates people’s pride in being Welsh, alongside experiences of racism and the uncomfortable and difficult situations people continue to face, spoken in their own words.
Throughout October, the film is also being shown in the Senedd as an opportunity for people to pause and reflect on the stories during their visit to the building. The film is produced by ie ie Productions, and won a Bafta Cymru award in 2021 for Best Director: Factual.
The sessions with Liana Stewart and the Betty Campbell Monument Lecture are both open to the public who can book their attendance here.
Liana Stewart said, “I'm really excited to have the documentary I'm most proud of, Black and Welsh, screened at the Senedd in the heart of Cardiff. My ancestors came through these docklands, and I grew up here, so I have a deep connection.
“I hope I am making the local community of Butetown proud and I'm excited that the film will be introduced to the many visitors that come through Cardiff Bay to hear the black and Welsh experience.”
Prof. Olivette Otele, keynote speaker of the inaugural Annual Betty Campbell Monument Lecture, said, “Betty Campbell was instrumental in my journey as a scholarly activist. It is an immense honour to give the first keynote for the Betty Campbell Monument Lecture.”
Rt. Hon. Elin Jones MS, Llywydd of the Senedd, said, “Driven by passion and determination, both women have amplified the voices of Welsh black people. Betty Campbell’s enduring drive and energy continues to inspire and I’m looking forward to hearing Professor Otele speak.
“As a celebrated film and documentary creator from Butetown, Liana Stewart’s session is sure to be as interesting and informative as her documentary Black and Welsh. I’m pleased to welcome Liana to the Senedd.”