The film Where are all the white voices? highlights the absurdities and dehumanisation inherent in contemporary discussions on race and representation by flipping the gaze, presenting a ‘diversity panel’ in a world where it is white people who are the historically marginalised. The film features a panel consisting of academics, writers, and activists, during which the discussion turns to, amongst other things, cancel culture, ‘melanin’ fragility, and the sell-out. Join the film’s writers Kavita Bhanot and Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi what inspired this project, and then follow this link to watch the hilarious film.

Kavita Bhanot is an ECR Leverhulme Fellow at Leicester University. She is editor of several anthologies, and her fiction, non-fiction and academic work has been published and broadcast widely, including the landmark essay ‘Decolonise not Diversify’ and her Tedx Talk. She initiated and co-organised the Literature Must Fall Festival in Birmingham 2019.

Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi has published reviews, essays, short stories, poetry and translations. She’s also a playwright; her plays and monologues have been staged widely. Ayesha’s debut novel, the Centre, is being published by Picador in 2023 and she is contributing editor for a forthcoming podcast by the New York Times. Ayesha is from Karachi and lives in London.

Khairani Barokka is a writer, poet and artist in London. She’s a practice-based researcher, whose work centres disability justice as anti-colonial praxis. Among her honours, she was Modern Poetry in Translation’s Inaugural Poet-in-Residence, the first non-British Associate Artist at the UK’s National Centre for Writing, and an NYU Tisch Departmental Fellow, and is currently UK Associate Artist at Delfina Foundation and Research Fellow at University of the Arts London.

Producers of the Future: From Keighley to Karachi is a ground-breaking international collaboration between Bradford Literature Festival, UK, and Adab Festival in Pakistan, with the aim of developing female talent and leadership in the arts and culture sector.

The development programme featured 10 women selected from Pakistan and Bradford who collaborated digitally to produce a series of online events.