How to Write Pleasure

7 Sep 2019

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00

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ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts)

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Piccadilly Circus/Charing Cross
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One of the most celebrated Black British writers narrating Black British womanhood, Bernardine Evaristo, discusses her newest novel, the Booker Prize and Gordon Burn Prize nominated Girl, Woman, Other.


This polyvocal ‘fusion fiction’ novel, spanning over 100 years, is about twelve primarily Black British womxn of different ages, sexualities, classes and cultural backgrounds. In her poetic prose, which wields and plays with convention, Evaristo portrays the pleasure of girls' and women's friendships, the politics of refusing gender ascription, Black women's sexual politics, and the multiplicity of Black British womxn’s subjectivities.

How to Write Pleasure will explore these themes and engage the book as a genealogy, considering how this form shapes the narrative and relates to adrienne maree brown’s lineages of pleasure.

How to Write Pleasure will be moderated by Nydia A. Swaby of The Politics of Pleasure Collective.

British-Nigerian writer Bernardine Evaristo is the award-winning author of eight books of fiction and verse fiction including Mr Loverman (Penguin 2013), Blonde Roots (Penguin 2008), and The Emperor’s Babe (Penguin 2001). She is also a literary critic for the national newspapers, essayist, and writer for BCC radio. She has set up many successful diversity inclusion arts projects, is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London, and received an MBE in 2009.

Nydia A. Swaby is a black feminist scholar, creative writer, and performance lecturer working at the intersection of archives, ethnography, and visual culture. She has a PhD in Gender Studies from SOAS and specialises in Black Feminism, Black Studies and Queer Theory of colour. Her doctoral research traced a genealogy of Black Feminism in Britain based on the premise of individual and collective diasporic becoming. Her book project uses the photographic archive of Jamaican Pan-African feminist Amy Ashwood Garvey to theorise how we can think with the visual about Black diasporic identity and subjectivity. Nydia is an amateur photographer, using the medium to document her research, her life, and her travels. She is a member of the editorial collective for the journal Feminist Review.

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