[POSTPONED] The Naseem Khan Memorial Lecture 2020

UPDATE: LADA regrets to announce that this event has been postponed along with all events until the beginning of May, at the earliest. Our office and Study Room will also remain closed for the same period. Please check for updates and more info via our COVID-19 statement here. We are also gathering information and resources to support artists and arts workers hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.


‘Some Where. In Bethnal Green’, a lecture by Carolyn Steedman 

Naseem Khan was a hugely influential journalist, activist, cultural historian, educator and LADA friend who died in June 2017. Her report The Arts Britain Ignores (1976) was instrumental in bringing ‘ethnic minority’ arts into the mainstream. In recent years Naseem had also become a friend to the Garrett Centre, one of the many ways in which she brought people, projects, ideas and places together. At the time of her death she had begun to create a collaboration between the Garrett’s social action centre, Simple Gifts and Phytology, the local artist led project on wildness and urban community gardening. Her commitment to going beyond the boundaries, to making things happen in unlikely places, and to honouring the small scale, the local and the power of the imagination to make change happen is a huge continuing legacy. In collaboration with our former Thinker in Residence, and LADA Board member, Claire MacDonald, LADA has instigated the Annual Naseem Khan Memorial Lecture.

Naseem wrote many things, among them a memoir Everywhere is Somewhere (available to buy on Unbound). The book is the starting (and end) point for Some Where. In Bethnal Green, the first Memorial Lecture by another visionary writer and thinker whose work also goes beyond boundaries, Carolyn Steedman. Carolyn will discuss those who have visited and settled in Bethnal Green over the last two centuries and how they have attempted to make it Somewhere.

Carolyn Steedman is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Warwick. She is a unique and original thinker whose own work as a historian has often focused on the marginal, the unseen and unobserved, as she tracks the warp and weft of cultural history. Her own memoir, Landscape for a Good Woman, explores class and gender through lived experience. Her other books touch on class, education, domestic life, poetry, and what it means to live with the past — what we make of it, do with it and where it lies for us now. Her latest book, History and the Law. A Love Story is just out with Cambridge University Press.

Naseem Khan and Carolyn Steedman were both speakers at the Performance and Politics in the 1970s symposium at Whitechapel Gallery in 2015, a collaboration between LADA, the Department of Drama at Queen Mary University of London and Matt’s Gallery. We look forward to welcoming Carolyn to deliver the first of what we intend as a series of annual talks exploring where we are and who we are, across boundaries and times, in the name of someone whose legacy of arts leadership, community activism and an unbounded in interest in people and places is very much missed.

The first Naseem Khan Memorial Lecture forms part of LADA’s Restock, Rethink, Reflect Five: Managing the Radical project.


LADA’s space is wheelchair accessible and has gender inclusive bathrooms. LADA welcomes parents to attend with children, and humans to attend with companion species.

We operate a policy of reasonable adjustment with regard to access requirements. Please get in touch with us to discuss this.

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About LADA

The Live Art Development Agency is a ‘Centre for Live Art’: a knowledge centre, a production centre for programmes and publications, a research centre setting artists and ideas in motion, and an online centre for digital experimentation, representation and dissemination.

We support contemporary culture’s most radical and inventive artists, practices and ideas. We champion new ways of working, legitimise unclassifiable artforms, record untold histories, and give agency to underrepresented artists. We believe in Live Art as a means to challenge the status quo and initiate meaningful social change.

Banner image credit:

Book cover from Naseem Khan’s Everywhere is Somewhere, Bluemoose, 2017 (Image: Lotus – A Flame Fractal by Ann Garrett. Credit: Arcangel)

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