Higher Education Round Table

This annual event provides a meeting point for artists working within higher education institutions to discuss a pressing issue facing them in HE contexts.

In these unprecedented times, with Covid-19 exacerbating the structural inequalities that pre-existed in many of our institutions, the arts and society more broadly, the need for radical change has become even more stark.

ID’s most recent HE Roundtable (2020), titled Recognising Institutional Racism in our Classroom, focused on how we can come together to recognise ways in which we might unknowingly be performing systemic racism in our classrooms, language, and sense of history.

In preparation, we commissioned an essay by Dr Adesola Akinleye as a starting point and provocation for discussion.

Akinleye identified three lenses through which to observe and work; these provided a basis for the roundtable discussion.

1) ‘justice’ : witness, acknowledge, ‘that shouldn’t have happened’, I hear you’
2) ‘education’ : understanding, comprehending the nuances of the system, what is this system? How does it ‘work’?
3) ‘personal work’ : what is / has my role been in that system?, where is my power? in it / to change it?, committing to change.

Documentation the 2020 Roundtable and from the previous ten years of HE Round Tables is linked below.

I just wanted to say how valuable it is to be able to come together as dance artists / educators / researchers (whatever we prefer, it matters little) and speak so honestly and hopefully and progressively. And being in collegiate, co-operative and collective thought and discussion is so welcome and so needed for all of us today. I come away lighter in my heart and more resilient in my thoughts.

Katye Coe, participant