Anita Sethi: I Belong Here

Sunday 01 August 2021

The Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing 2021

The Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing 2021

Anita Sethi: I Belong Here
Sunday 1 August, 13:00 - 14:00
Tickets: £6 (£4 concessions)


Chosen as a Guardian literary highlight of 2021, Anita Sethi’s I Belong Here was written after she became the victim of a race hate crime while travelling through Northern England. After the event Anita experienced panic attacks and anxiety. A crushing sense of claustrophobia made her long for wide open spaces, to breathe deeply in the great outdoors. She was intent on not letting her experience stop her travelling freely and without fear. 
 

The Pennines called to Anita with a magnetic force; although a racist had told her to leave, she felt drawn to further explore the area she regards as her home, to immerse herself deeply in place. Anita’s journey through the natural landscapes of the North is one of reclamation, a way of saying that this is her land too and she belongs in the UK as a brown woman, as much as a white man does. 
 

Hear Anita talk with writer Helen Mort about a journey that gave her the perspective to reflect upon the important issues encompassed in her experience of abuse including speaking out, gaslighting, trauma, kindness, and notions of strength. Her journey transforms what began as an ugly experience of hate into one offering hope and finding beauty after brutality. 
 

Anita Sethi was born in Manchester, UK where her love of nature first flourished in childhood, in wild urban spaces. I Belong Here is the first in her nature writing trilogy. She has also contributed to anthologies including Seasons, Seaside Special: Postcards from the Edge, Common People, The Wild Isles and Women on Nature. She has written for the Guardian, Observer, i, Sunday Times, Telegraph, Vogue, BBC Wildlife, New Statesman and Times Literary Supplement, and appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book, Front Row and Today, BBC 5 Live and Sky. She has been shortlisted for Northern Writer of the Year at the Northern Soul Awards and Journalist of the Year at the Asian Media Awards, and judged the British Book Awards, Costas and Society of Author Awards. She has lived around the world including being International Writer in Residence for the Emerging Writers Festival in Melbourne.
 

Helen Mort has published two poetry collections with Chatto & Windus, ‘Division Street’ (2013) and ‘No Map Could Show Them’ (2015). She won the Fenton Aldeburgh Prize for best first collection. Her novel ‘Black Car Burning’ was published in 2019. She teaches creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and she is also the author of ‘Lake District Trail Running’ and ‘Never Leave The Dog Behind’ (Vertebrate). She edited ‘Waymaking’: art and writing by women on adventures. 

This event will take place via Zoom Webinar. You can watch the event live and it will also be recorded and made available to Ticket Holders on our Vimeo channel from Tuesday 3 August 2021 for 7 days (you will be emailed after the event with a link).


Full details of how to join the event will be sent once you have booked your place.  


This event will feature captions via Otter.ai. There will be an explanation of how to make use of these services at the start of the event.


We appreciate you reading and adhering to our Code of Conduct: 

This Code of Conduct represents The Brontë Society’s Duty of Care as convenors of digital events. We are committed to protecting and safeguarding all of our participants and speakers and operate a zero tolerance policy to harassment or intimidation of any kind toward staff members, artists, authors, creatives and audiences. We also have a policy of respect which means that all parties are expected to behave towards each other and speak to and about each other with respect at all times and do their utmost to promote and embed respect in all areas of the organisation. The Brontë Society has a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and will not tolerate offensive comments relating to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, race, ethnicity, background or religion. Any attendee who attempts to harass or intimidate another person within the event will be immediately removed.

 

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