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Tales and Reminiscences Listening Event w/ Department of Unruly Histories

May 19, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm BST

You are invited to a shared listening of ‘Tales and Reminiscences’, which features three Asian women – Gayatri Thanki, Swati Patel, and B.L. – telling intimate stories of squatting in various locations around London in the 1980s. The story encompasses different stages of migratory histories, and how squatting scenes converged with those histories at that time period. Gayu, Swati, and B.L. discuss the joy in these squatting spaces, which were standard, normal ways of living, many of which do not exist anymore.

The event will be accompanied by a selection of material from MayDay Rooms’ collection on Squatting histories.

Department of Unruly histories is an artwork produced by Meera Shakti Osborne consisting of a collective sonic and material archive built on post-colonial migration stories in London. In conjunction with an exhibition at Cubitt Artists, curated by Mariam Elnozahy, ten audio pieces are installed in various satellite sites across London. These ten sites were chosen by the participants based on intimate affinities with certain neighbourhoods, or where they felt they wanted their work to be heard.


Gayatri Thanki arrived in London from Kenya via India in 1970. She was invited to contribute to this project by her daughter, Meera Shakti Osborne. – “I’ve lived here for 52 years and I still struggle with the question, where are you from?”

Swati Patel, born in Kenya and of Indian heritage has lived in London for over 40 years. – “I grapple with who I am as I often get the feeling of being an outsider. I now work for a trade union where to a small extent I feel like I belong.”

B.L is a Chinese disabled woman, born in South Africa and living in North London. B.L is a teacher, healer, self-taught artist, writer, practitioner of yoga, qigong and tai chi. Her work is inspired by community, nature, music, movement, language, meditation and dreams.



May 19, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm BST
Event Category:


MayDay Rooms
88 Fleet Street
London, County EC4Y 1DH United Kingdom
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