Name: Robbie Shilliam
Job Title: Senior Lecturer in International Politics
Department: School of Politics and International Relations
Type of Engagement: Co-creation of Research, Exhibitions, Community Engagement
Publics: Local Community, Interest Groups, General Public
Robbie Shilliam works with various Rastafari and Black community organisations throughout his research and dissemination projects.He involves these groups through processes of research-led public engagement that feed into his methodology, working on the premise that all communities possess living knowledge traditions that, in principle, are capable of producing valid and generally relevant knowledge.
Robbie takes part in ongoing engagement through a variety of projects and research. Two case studies of his work with community and interest groups are:
Rastafari: The Majesty and the Movement
As part of an organizing committee entitled Rastafari Regal Livity (CiC) Robbie worked with members of the Rastafari faith in Ethiopia and the UK for over two and a half years co-researching and co-producing an exhibition of 14 text-and-image A1 panel displays and 5 audio-visual short documentaries.
Following the launch of the exhibition in Ethiopia they have together organized a number of workshops and events with and for the wider Rastafari community in order to share and communicate knowledge, taking place in London, Birmingham and Bath in the UK.
In the course of this work Robbie helped the Rastafari community to engage productively with higher education (especially at QMUL), arts centres (e.g. The Drum in Birmingham), heritage sites (e.g. Fairfield House, Bath), heritage sectors (e.g. the National Museum of Ethiopia, and the London-based Black Cultural Archives) and other civic organizations (e.g. The Anglo-Ethiopian Society).
Portrayal and Perceptions: Tottenham Youth in Contemporary Britain
This project aimed to critically address the negative portrayal and self-perceptions of young Black people, primarily from Tottenham, following the 2011 London riots.
Through workshops and lectures the project aimed to explore how positive and future-oriented personal and community self-perceptions can be developed by young Black people in Tottenham affected by the riots; and to model and demonstrate how these self-perceptions can be productively portrayed to a broader public.
At the same time it sought to develop a sociologically grounded understanding of these young people based on how they critically apprehended their own pasts, presents and futures as part of an evolving community.