8 Nov 2023 16:00 - 17:30 Online


A Cambridge Digital Humanities online public event convened by members of the (Anti) Colonial Archives Working Group at the Cambridge Cultural Heritage Data School.

The global majority have often faced the historical erasure of cultural heritage. This public event seeks to open the conversation by presenting initiatives already combating that erasure, showcasing projects that are actively working to preserve this heritage. We will talk about how people in the past and present have saved the histories of Black and Asian communities using methods such as turning old video tapes of performances into digital copies and scanning objects to protect the culture of communities at risk of disappearing.

The event will be delivered through three interventions — the Past, the Present, and the Future.

The Past will be encapsulated by ‘Performativity’, delivered by Mama Sila, the author of pre-digital Black performance plays, and Dr Alda Terraciano from the Future Histories organisation.

The Present will be showcased through ‘Solidarity’ and ‘Personal Archives’ by Adil Mian, Jendayi Omowale, and Sara Sashar, who will discuss 3D Digitisation for art production and preservation.

The Future will be an open discussion with the public to imagine utopian futures for digitisation and archiving practices that fight the erasure of global majority cultural heritage.


Mama Sila is an award-winning writer and lecturer. Originally from Kenya, during her career, she has worked across several areas, including theatre, films, radio, and other artistic activities. She was a member of British Actors Equity and the Writers Guild of Great Britain and also the Performing Rights Society. She has written several plays including The Single Parent, winner of GLC Film Script Award; Emisori Rites, winner of 1991 Barclays New Stages Award and adapted into the first African Opera in Europe. She has worked as a Lecturer at Hastings College and Rye College in Creative Writing and Wellbeing; and as a writer in residence at the De la Warr Pavilion Theatre. She is an active community leader, campaigner and activist having been involved in matters related to racism, mental health, arts, and culture.

Alda Terracciano is an academic researcher, visual artist, curator, and activist who has worked with diverse communities in Britain. In 2001, she co-founded Future Histories, the first independent archive of African, Asian and Caribbean performing arts in the UK based at Goldsmiths University, for which she curated ground-breaking cataloguing and digitisation projects and exhibitions. She is the artistic director of Aldaterra Projects and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at UCL.

Jendayi Omowale is a Caribbean-American filmmaker and writer focused on telling the narratives of those marginalised in the historical archive. She has worked for over four years as a journalist. She has an MPhil in World History from Cambridge University, with her dissertation looking at the role of Kittitian and Nevisian plantation societies in the political and legislative policies of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Adil Mian is a first-generation Pakistani-British Muslim, their current practice focuses on environmental disaster mitigation in Pakistan, particularly developing ethical tools for flood mitigation through collaboration with Cambridge University. They are also currently a facilitator within the ھ و (Ho) collective, which is working towards building regenerative communal practices between STEM and other fields.

Sara Sarshar is a practising immersive artist and activist, while actively being involved in Game Design. She is also the founder of y0uph0ria_, a platform attempting to uncover non-knowledge through creating digitised archives of the inner-experience, greatly associated with unknowable and unutterable histories of violence. The methodology of these spaces namely allows for the binding of a physical and virtual function, in hope of leading y0u to further knowledge in a post-truth era.

This event is the public event of our online Cultural Heritage Data School (6-14 November). Find out more about our Data Schools if you are interested in joining in the future.

Upcoming Events


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk