8 Nov 2023 16:00–17:30 Online - zoom


An 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 their cultural heritage. This public event will present initiatives that are currently combatting this erasure and showcase projects that are actively working to preserve this heritage. We will discuss how people in the past and present have protected the histories of Black and Asian communities by using digital 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 Sarshar, 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 theatre, film, radio, and a range of other artistic activities. She was a member of British Actors’ Equity, the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and the Performing Rights Society, and has written several plays including The Single Parent (winner of GLC Film Script Award) and Emisori Rites (winner of 1991 Barclays New Stages Award), which was adapted into the first African Opera in Europe. She has also worked as a lecturer in Creative Writing and Wellbeing at Hastings College and Rye College, and as a writer-in-residence at the De la Warr Pavilion Theatre. She is an active community leader, campaigner and activist 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 keynote for our online Cultural Heritage Data School (6-14 November). If you are interested in joining our next Data School, find more information here: www.cdh.cam.ac.uk/dataschools

Cambridge Digital Humanities

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