Lisa Williams grew up in Dorset in a British-Grenadian family and moved to Grenada to run cultural/educational exchanges for twenty years. After relocating to Edinburgh in 2011, she founded the Edinburgh Caribbean Association and curates a range of arts events across Scotland to promote Caribbean culture. She runs educational and anti-racist programmes in schools and universities and leads walking tours focusing on Edinburgh’s Black History.
Lisa works as a heritage consultant to many national and regional institutions across Scotland and is a member of several advisory boards. She has a BA in Psychology/African and Asian Studies, an MA in Arts, Festival and Cultural Management, is a Research Associate at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and an Honorary Fellow in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. For her MA final project, she analysed the curation of Scotland’s imperial history in heritage institutions through the lens of critical race theory.
In my role as a facilitator on my guided Black History walks of Edinburgh, I attempt to hold space for a variety of emotions evoked on a physical/mental journey of embodied learning; allowing the opportunity for dialogue and emotional processing both as an individual and as a group. We begin the journey in the New Town, the apex of wealth and status in Edinburgh, in order to deconstruct the white cultural identity politics of Enlightenment architecture and its underpinnings of violence and dispossession. I interrogate the silences around the commemorated to foreground the invisibilized in the city centre’s built heritage, configuring a new relationship with our public space and established narratives with the use of imagery, poetry and storytelling with the hope of encouraging action towards social justice and collective healing.
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