A Night In with Anita Sethi
To mark the publication of I Belong Here: A Journey Along the Backbone of Britain
Writer and journalist Anita Sethi was on a journey through Northern England in Summer 2019 when she became the victim of a race hate crime. This was a vicious attack on her right to exist in a place on account of her race. After the event Anita experienced panic attacks and anxiety, but she was intent on not letting her experience stop her travelling freely and without fear.
Join Anita to celebrate the publication of I Belong Here, the first in a nature-writing trilogy of books exploring themes of identity, place and belonging. In conversation for this event, Anita will explore how after the attack, The Pennines called to her 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. She’ll consider how her journey through the natural landscapes of the North was 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.
We are living in an era of increased hostility, in which more people of colour around the world are being told to ‘go back’. Every word spoken out against the rising tide of hate speech is an act of resistance; strong statements of belonging are needed more than ever. This is a timely and important event, transforming what began as an ugly experience of hate into one offering hope and finding beauty after brutality.