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Melissa Chemam in conversation with UWE Bristol’s Associate Head of Department for Media Production and Journalism Anne Harbin, to discuss her writing created at Arnolfini over the past two years, and in particular her e-book ‘Here, There… Evenwhere’ on African/African diaspora artists who have exhibited at Arnolfini since its opening over 60 years ago.

For the past six decades, Arnolfini has brought the works of many thousands of artists, from all over the world, to hundreds of thousands of art lovers here in Bristol. Melissa’s story of Arnolfini’s past focuses on a number of artists who have shown here, who come from Africa, or who were born into various African diaspora communities around the world. Artists working in many different styles and media, and in response to a host of various cultural and political movements, are covered.

From the Harlem Renaissance to the Bristol Bus Boycott, the UK’s joining of the EU to Brexit, a traditional commemoration of Edward Colston to the toppling of his statue. Weaving them together is Melissa’s own unique perspective of Bristol, how she came to live here after a long-term interest in the city’s art and music scenes, told from her vantage point as a journalist who has spent many years working in Africa and the Caribbean, and as a member of the African diaspora herself.

Organised in collaboration with UWE Equity, an award-winning programme aimed at providing personal and professional development opportunities for students who identify as Black, Asian or minority ethnic.


Melissa Chemam is a journalist, broadcaster, art writer, researcher and Senior Lecturer at UWE Bristol in Media & Journalism. She has worked for years for the BBC World Service in London and in East Africa, but also for France 24, RFI, DW, CBC and other broadcasters from Africa, Europe, America and the Middle East. Paris-born, her family has their roots in Algeria. She was in parallel intermittently the main researcher for the award-winning film production company Velvet Film on projects about Karl Marx, James Baldwin, Frantz Fanon and the history of colonial violence, which include films and series ‘The Young Karl Marx’, ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ and ‘Exterminate All The Brutes’. She has also been published in many newspapers, websites and magazines such as The Independent, The Times Literary Supplement, The Public Art Review, Le Figaro, Le Monde, Skin Deep, The Bristol Cable, ART UK, The Markaz Review, WePresent, The Byline Times and Al Jazeera English. She is author of ‘Out of The Comfort Zone’, a book on Massive Attack and Bristol, and was writer in residence at Arnolfini from 2019 to 2021.

Read more about Melissa Chemam’s work as Writer in Residence here


Dr Anne Harbin is the Associate Head of Department for Media Production and Journalism, responsible for four programmes along with the MA in Journalism. She is a journalist with over 15 years of experience in the industry, in both radio and online. She worked for many years across national and local radio as BBC journalist and radio producer, and was also a reporter for the BBC Online team. A former lecturer at Salford University and The Manchester College in Radio Production, she has designed and developed the content across many courses ensuring industry focus.