Liberating Languages | Free Word

5 May 2020

Presented by:
English PEN


An evening exploring the languages we use and the power they hold

In light of the current situation regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the UK, we have been revising plans for our season.

We are happy to say that this event will be transformed into online content. More information about this coming soon!


How are the languages we use subject to systems of power? What kind of cultural resistance and creation emerges from switching between dominant languages and mother tongues?

An evening of performative readings and conversation – with a focus on Gypsy, Traveller and Roma (GTR) languages, Ga and Yorùbá.

Featuring Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún, Damian Le Bas and Victoria Adukwei Bulley, in partnership with English PEN.

5 May 2020

English PEN


English PEN

English PEN is the founding centre of the international association of writers. It promotes the freedom to write and the freedom to read.

Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún

Linguist and Writer

Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún is a linguist, writer, scholar, and language advocate born in Ìbàdàn, Nigeria. He was educated there, in Kenya, and in the United States. His debut collection of poetry, Edwardsville by Heart, was published by Wisdom’s Bottom Press, Oxford, in 2018. He has also worked as a literary translator from English to Yorùbá and from Yorùbá to English. His language advocacy earned him the Premio Ostana in 2016, a prize given by Chambra D’Oc in Italy, for work and advocacy in the mother tongue, becoming the first African so-honoured. He’s currently a Chevening Research Fellow at the British Library in London.

Damian Le Bas

Writer and Filmmaker

Damian Le Bas is a writer and filmmaker from the south coast of England. His first book, The Stopping Places: a Journey through Gypsy Britain, was published by Chatto & Windus in 2018. It won the Somerset Maugham Award, a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award, was BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year. In 2019 Damian presented the critically acclaimed documentary A Very British History: Romany Gypsies on BBC Four.

Victoria Adukwei Bulley

Poet, Writer and Filmmaker

Victoria Adukwei Bulley is a poet, writer and filmmaker. Winner of a 2018 Eric Gregory Award for promising British poets under 30, she has held residencies in the USA, Brazil, and the V&A Museum in London. Her debut pamphlet is Girl B, and she is the director of MOTHER TONGUES, a poetry, translation and film project exploring the indigenous language heritages of black and brown poets. Victoria is a doctoral candidate at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she is the recipient of a 2019 Technē scholarship for practice-based research in Creative Writing.



There is step-free access to all areas of Free Word and a number of other facilities available to make the venue accessible.

• Our box office, theatre and hall are all on the ground floor with step-free access from the street
• Meeting rooms and offices are accessible by lift from the ground floor
• There are two accessible toilets on the ground floor. All our toilets are individual, gender neutral cubicles.
• Hearing loops are available at the box office and the theatre and in all meeting rooms
• The foyer and café areas are our designated quiet spaces – if you need to leave the event at any time, you’re welcome to use these areas.
• If you need to bring someone for assistance, please get in touch with us so we can provide a free ticket for them

Please talk to our team if you have specific access requirements.


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