Saturday 14 August, 10am – 2pm
BOM, Birmingham 
Free to attend

Curator: Candice Nembhard
Speakers: Harun Morrison and Taiwo Ogunyinka

ICF is hosting a study day at Birmingham Open Media (BOM) as part of the public programme for UP:RISE, a new groundbreaking nationwide Augmented Reality public artwork by artist Baff Akoto concerned with the pathology, history and underlying drivers of English civil unrest in the digital age – exhibiting nationwide from August 6th 2021 to mark 10 years since the civil unrest of summer 2011 announced the arrival of 21st Century Britain. The study day at BOM will be curated by Candice Nembhard and will feature presentations by Harun Morrison and Taiwo Ogunyinka

Structure of the Event:
10:00 – Explore UP:RISE exhibition, meet & greet
11:00 – Artist and writer Harun Morrison will present a talk that explores the representation of police in a selection of U.S. hip hop videos made post-Black Lives Matter (from 2013 onwards). This talk aims to identify the police in the Black imaginary and recurring tropes including supernatural possession and blurring of identity. 
12:30 – Taiwo Ogunyinka will lead a workshop responding to the understanding of the 2011 riots as a turning point in the relationship between digitisation and modernity. Through reading and discussion of speculative sci-fi poetry, we will use art as a site for the imagining of what further possibilities could exist for social justice and organising.
13:35 – Open forum discussion with all participants 
14:00 – Lunch 

This event is free, includes a delicious vegetarian lunch and is perfect for creatives, students, academics and professionals interested in urbanism, sociology, digital tech, psychology, protest, public art, youth culture and more.

To reserve your free place please email

About the Participants:

Candice Nembhard is a writer, poet, artist-curator and producer based in Birmingham, previously Berlin. They are the founder of the queer film series ALL FRUITS RIPE, co-producer of The R.A.P Party Berlin and co-founder of the arts collective Poet & Prophetess. They have presented and exhibited work internationally and their writing has appeared in Frieze, Sleek Mag, Poetry London and others. Candice is currently an artist-curator at Eastside Projects and an alumna of the Black Curators Collective.

Harun Morrison is an artist and writer based on the River Lea and Regent’s Canal. He is the current recipient of the Wheatley Fine Art Fellowship, hosted by Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham City University and Eastside Projects. His forthcoming novel, The Escape Artist will be published by Book Works in 2022. Since 2006, Harun has collaborated with Helen Walker as part of the collective practice They Are Here. He is also a trustee of the Black Cultural Archive (est. 1981).

Taiwo Ogunyinka is a poet, collective arts organiser, and activist based in Leeds. His work is defined by the desire and necessity to radically imagine how society is organised. From a speculative position, incorporating the wisdom of experience, acquired knowledge, and shared truths, his writing examines solutions for the urgency of the human condition. He has developed and delivered workshops exploring poetry and poetics as a source of resistance and transformation in the face of colonialism and imperialism.

About our Partners:

UP:RISE re-casts August 2011 as a key formative moment of 21st Century Britain. 2011’s uprisings were widely reported as the senseless sacking and looting of property by mindless youth fuelled by opportunistic material greed and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) encryption. UP:RISE takes a critical and provocative position, re-examining this portrayal and the legacies of August 2011 on the past 10 years. The work and its nationwide public exhibition also reflects on Britain’s postwar tradition of violent civil unrest and community uprisings sparked by police violence, fanned by social deprivation and racial animosity. With access to public space and social life restricted by the pandemic, UP:RISE seeks to expand the notion of what public art can be. By engaging digitally with non-traditional audiences that previously have been excluded from such conversations, UP:RISE marks a step change in the conception of public and community art practice in the digital era. Baff Akoto’s AR artwork and accompanying nationwide public exhibition reflects on the UK’s past, present and future. In rendering this new model of public art, Akoto encourages social critique and community engagement by exploring charged social histories while speculating around our shared digital futures.

Baff Akoto is an artist and film-maker living in London. Akoto’s work has been exhibited at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) and at the British Film Institute (BFI) in their Experimenta strand for ‘works by artists that revolutionise and reshape our vision of the cinematic moving image’. As a director and producer Baff began as a documentary film-maker, before going on to direct network TV drama at Channel 4 and the BBC, leading to his inclusion on Idris Elba’s BBC New Talent Hotlist. In 2018 Screen International tipped Akoto as a “Star of Tomorrow”. The most recent feature film he has produced QUEEN OF GLORY (from actor and first time director Nana Mensah) will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in June 2021. Having forged a path within visual arts with mentoring from John Akomfrah and the Oscarwinning Asif Kapadia, Baff’s work embraces the fluidity of visual grammar, notions of plurality, (self) perceptions and societal implications of human bodily movement (disability, ritual, dance). Most recently Baff’s work explores the artistic potential of VR/AR as he becomes increasingly concerned with how the digital revolution might avoid the same prejudices, exclusions and inequalities which arose from our industrial and colonial eras. 

BOM is a centre for art, technology and science dedicated to creative innovation with purpose. Located in central Birmingham, our gallery is free to enter and presents cutting edge digital artworks and exhibitions that spark debate about technology and scientific progress. BOM is dedicated to positive social impact in all that we do. Our exhibitions and events explore topical issues in digital culture and science which impact on human lives. Our education work engages excluded children, young people and adults in creative technology programmes, with a particular interest in neurodiversity and technology. BOM is born from hacker culture. But unlike other hackspaces that are filled with tools and operate on a membership model, our building is publicly accessible with free exhibitions and events.