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Events Upcoming

Decolonise My Cup Of Tea

Thursday, 21 June 2018
6.30 – 8pm

£4 / £2 / free to ESP
Doors 6pm, start 6.30pm sharp

Join Gurminder K Bhambra and Ben Coles as they explore the origins of some of our most loved foods, looking at the micro politics, journeys, histories and contexts that came to form the British diet. The conversation will touch on areas of food colonialism and migration, food politics and the re-materialization of food’s cultural geographies.

Indulging the specialism of our invited guests the discussion will divert into conversations around fast food and fast ethics, looking at the chicken as the contemporary colonial food source. We will also touch on our selective relationship with migrated foods and how our food choices can integrate or alienate us from a society. We welcome you to bring your own food stories and experiences to share over the not so humble cup of tea.

To celebrate Refugee Week we are highlighting the contribution that refugees and migrants have bought to our communities. Looking at the numerous journeys undertaken by plant and food substances we will re-familiarize ourselves with the abundance of tastes and experiences that make up the British Isle, and would not be possible without the movement of people.


Gurminder K Bhambra is Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies in the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex. Previously, she was Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick and Guest Professor of Sociology and History at the Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, Sweden. She is author of Connected Sociologies (Bloomsbury, 2014) and Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination (Palgrave, 2007), which won the 2008 Philip Abrams Memorial Prize for best first book in sociology. She set up the Global Social Theory website and is co-editor of the online social research magazine, Discover Society. She tweets @gkbhambra and her website is here.

Ben Coles is a broadly trained economic and political geographer who researches the intersections between commodities and markets, with a particular focus on food. Of particular interest to Ben are the ways in which markets and economies in the abstract sense are grounded in everyday practices and processes of the marketplace, and other places of production and consumption. Ben has deployed topo/graphy in a variety of contexts relating the economic and political spaces to examine a diverse array of geographical questions surrounding the ‘geographies’ of commodities and foods (coffee, wine & chickens), of production/consumption/in-between (markets, farms and factories), of social anxiety and of food-bio-security. He is currently working in Sao Paulo on a project that examines the ‘nexus’ of food, water and energy, and in the UK a project that examines the ‘Anthropocene Chicken’. Since 2011, Ben has lectured on economic and political geography at the University of Leicester.