Professor John Diamond (Director of the University’s I4P) describes how powerful conversations can be for exploring serious social and political questions:
As part of the University’s Festival of Ideas Emy Onuora talked about his new book and explored the ideas in the book through a dialogue with Peter Hooton.
The Q and A facilitated by Peter was a really powerful experience, as Emy talked about his childhood experiences of going to matches in the 1960s, his love of the game and his wish to reclaim the lives of those black footballers who have been hidden from history, and the power of representing their stories to a different audience.
The power of the ‘conversation’ is that it has the potential to connect a number of themes and ideas, from politics to racism, to economics and to social change. At the same time because it is a particularly personal form of presenting ideas, it breaks down the invisible barrier between the speaker and the audience. It makes the person more real and powerful in a way. And through the lens of the experiences of black British footballers, it is possible to see the ways in which British society has or has not changed.
By then connecting the story of football in the UK to another set of stories from the murder of Stephen Lawrence to the increase in attacks on asylum seekers and refugees it is evident how far we still have to go to.