Brockley Festival of Ideas 2016: Session 3

An Inclusive Society

Chaired by Oliver Lewis

Gabriel Gbadamosi – Writer   

Andy Worthington – Journalist and activist

Rosario Guimba-Stewart – Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network (no audio)

Jacqueline Walker – Author

Full audio recording (1h 13m).

See below for start times of sections.



Oliver Lewis




The Creative Community as a Condition of Multicultural Society

Gabriel Gbadamosi

STARTS AT 01:27 

Gbadamosi v2 b&w 300pixWe live in dark times. To fight social, political, economic fragmentation we need imaginative and creative engagement between individuals and cultures: to love, know, embrace each other, so that not for the world would we plunder or diminish the lives of others. This kind of creative engagement is hard work!

Gabriel is a poet, playwright and novelist of Irish-Nigerian descent. He grew up in Vauxhall, the name of his first published novel.



Demonising ‘The Other’: Tackling the Rise of Racism and Xenophobia

Andy Worthington


Worthington v2 b&w 300pixWe must call for an end to double standards. We characterise other groups by the crimes of a few, but – egged on by the media – we are blind to the crimes of our own leaders. We must assert traditional morality against the plundering instincts of our leaders and against a growing culture of narcissistic self-obsession. From the treatment of Muslims to the treatment of refugees, decency, empathy and compassion are under threat, and we need to stand up for them.

Andy is a journalist and activist, with a particular interest in the US prison at Guantanamo Bay.



Refugees and their Challenges

Rosario Guimba-Stewart

Guimba-Stewart v2 b&w 300pix

Human compassion and common sense lead us to want the best for refugees, who have so much to contribute. National and local authorities may be unhelpful, but we ordinary citizens can show we care, by giving time for voluntary work with organisations such as the Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network.

Rosario is Director of Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network with 30 years experience in the non-profit sector in the UK and the Philippines.

Rosario has asked for the audio recording of her talk not to be included on this site, but you can read a transcript of her talk here.


From Life to Action

Jacqueline Walker (read on her behalf by friend Rosalind Stopps)


Walker v2 b&w 300pixHow is the world to change if we do not engage with its problems? By explaining her own path to political activism, Jackie Walker hopes to encourage others to take the plunge, and attempt to make a better world.

Jackie is an author and campaigner. Her memoir ‘Pilgrim State’, published in 2008, describes growing up in Lewisham and Deptford.

Read a transcript here.



Questions and Discussion



Lewisham Knife Crime Action Group

Desmond Clarke

STARTS AT 1:09:05

ClarkeEthical values and moral principles have gone into decline. How can we reinvigorate them? Nothing is being done by those in authority, so members of communities must take charge and organise, to put positive moral influence into the minds of young people. Desmond gave an impromptu presentation on this issue of huge importance to our local youth.

If you’d like to find out more about this initiative, please send an email to:desmond clarke email


Links to other Pages:

Session 1: Participation and Democracy
Session 2: A Fairer World
Session 4: Building a New Economy

Picture Gallery

Festival homepage