5 speakers 15 minutes each
Wed 29th May 2019
5 Speakers, 15 Minutes Each - Curated by Angela Saini
Portland Hall, University of Westminster, W1W 7BY
Professional Unicorn. Queer Iraqi non-binary Brit. In 2018, Amrou was selected as a Screen International Star of Tomorrow, and was one of the 6 BFI/BAFTA Flare LGBTQ+ emerging filmmakers of 2017. Amrou is a filmmaker and has a first feature in development, Layla, with Film4, is produced by Savannah James-Bayly. Previously, Amrou has written/directed four short films, including Anemone (BBC Films & Film London), Run(a)way Arab, (Peccadillo Pictures & Revry), Victoria Sin, (NOWNESS, Revry), and CLASH (BBC4 Broadcast, BFI, Revry). As a writer performer, Amrou has two TV shows in development. A comedy-series called Nefertiti (Big Talk and Channel 4 - co-writer Matthew Knott), and Beards (Playground and BBC - co-writer Ellie Kendrick), and a musical-feature film about Islam and drag with the BFI entitled Glamrou. They are a regular writer on Hollyoaks, and writing on upcoming TV series’ Little America for Apple, and The Watch for BBC America. Amrou's debut book, a memoir about queer intersectionality - UNICORN - with 4th Estate Books (Harper Collins), will be published on October 3rd, 2019. They have written freelance for the following publications - The Guardian, The Gay Times, The i-Paper, i-D Magazine, Little White Lies, Gay Star News, Hunger Magazine, CNN, HUCK Magazine, Visual Verse, Zed Books, Saqi Books, the BFI, Cause & Effect Magazine & The Inkling Magazine. Amrou is an established drag performer in the UK, whose debut drag solo show, Glamrou: From Quran to Queen, is going up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year. Amrou created the musical comedy live-singing drag troupe Denim.
Angela Saini is a science journalist, broadcaster and author. She presents science programmes on BBC Radio 4 and the World Service, and her writing has appeared across the world, including in New Scientist, the Guardian, The Times, Science, Cell, Wired, Wallpaper, Vogue, GQ, among others. Her book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story, was published in 2017 by Fourth Estate, and was named the Physics World Book of the Year and voted runner-up in the Goodreads Choice Awards. Her first book, Geek Nation, was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2011, becoming a bestseller in India. Her latest book is, Superior: The Return of Race Science. She is currently filming a two-part documentary series for BBC Four about the history and science of eugenics. In 2015 she won the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Kavli Science Journalism gold award for a BBC Radio 4 documentary she presented about birdsong and human language. In 2012 she won the Association of British Science Writers’ award for best news story, for a feature in the Guardian about the misuse of statistics in courtrooms. And she was named European Science Journalist of the Year by the Euroscience Foundation in 2009. She has also been shortlisted for both the Asian Women of Achievement Award and the Asian Achiever Award. She has a Masters in Engineering from Oxford University, and a second Masters in Science and Security from the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. Between 2012 and 2013 She was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Subhadra Das is a historian, history of science communicator, comedian, writer and museum curator at UCL Culture where she works with the UCL Pathology and Science Collections. She regularly talks to diverse audiences in classes, seminars, lectures, public talks and stand-up comedy about all aspects of her work from collections management to working with human remains. Her main area of research is the history of science and medicine in the 19th and 20th Centuries, specifically the history of scientific racism. She uses museum objects to tell decolonial stories in engaging and affirming ways.
Nikesh Shukla is a writer. His debut novel, Coconut Unlimited, was published by Quartet Books and shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2010 and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2011. Metro described it as 'a riot of cringeworthy moments made real by Shukla's beautifully observed characters and talent for teen banter'. In 2011 he co-wrote an essay about the London riots for Random House with Kieran Yates, Generation Vexed: What the Riots Don't Tell Us About Our Nation's Youth. In 2013 he released a novella about food with Galley Beggars Press, The Time Machine, donating his royalties to Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. The book won Best Novella at the Sabotage Awards. His second novel, Meatspace, was published by The Friday Project. 'Like Douglas Coupland's Generation X,' according to the Guardian, 'this novel captures a cultural moment.' It's been lauded by the New Statesman, BBC Radio 4, the Independent on Sunday, and the Daily Mail. Nikesh is the editor of the essay collection, The Good Immigrant, where 21 British writers of colour discuss race and immigration in the UK. The Good Immigrant won the reader's choice at the Books Are My Bag Awards and is shortlisted for Book of the Year at the British Book Awards. His short stories have featured in Best British Short Stories 2013, Five Dials, The Moth Magazine, Pen Pusher, The Sunday Times, Book Slam, BBC Radio 4, First City Magazine and Teller Magazine. He has written for the Guardian, Esquire, Buzzfeed, Vice and BBC 2. He has, in the past, been writer in residence for BBC Asian Network and Royal Festival Hall. In 2014 he co-wrote Two Dosas, an award-winning short film starring Himesh Patel. His Channel 4 Comedy Lab Kabadasses aired on E4 and Channel 4 in 2011 and starred Shazad Latif, Jack Doolan and Josie Long. He currently hosts The Subaltern podcast, an anti-panel discussion featuring conversations with writers about writing. Guests have included Zadie Smith, Junot Diaz, Teju Cole, James Salter, George Saunders, Jennifer Egan, Evie Wyld, Sam Bain, Alex Preston, Colson Whitehead and more. He also co-hosts a podcast with sci-fi writer James Smythe, Meat Up, Hulk Out.
Roma Agrawal is a multi-award winning structural engineer. She has designed bridges, skyscrapers and sculptures with signature architects. She spent six years working on The Shard, Western Europe’s tallest building, designing the foundations and the ‘Spire’. Her work has been featured extensively in the media, including coverage in the Guardian, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and ‘The Tallest Tower’, a Channel 4 documentary on The Shard in which she was the only woman featured. She was included in M&S’s ‘Leading Ladies’ campaign in 2014, and outside of work promotes engineering and scientific careers to young people, in particular to women and under-represented groups. In her new book Built, Agrawal takes a unique look at how construction has evolved from the mud huts of our ancestors to skyscrapers of steel that reach hundreds of metres into the sky.