For Oluwale II - Experience the exhibition with added insight through creative spoken description and sign language - Leeds International Festival

Tuesday 7 May
14:00 - 16:00

For Oluwale II – Experience the exhibition with added insight through creative spoken description and sign language

Different tellings, different perspectives: get to grips with this unique David Oluwale exhibition through this additional spoken and signed description event.

For Oluwale II: experience the exhibition through creative spoken and sign language description

For Oluwale II is Rasheed Araeen’s response to the death of David Oluwale, which took place in Leeds fifty years ago. The Tetley’s exhibition brings the work to Leeds for the first time. It is shown alongside literature, newspaper cuttings and other materials relating to Oluwale.

This accompanying event aims to take a creative and experimental approach to accessibility, opening the exhibition up in new ways, using spoken word and British Sign Language. Several writers will each deliver a description of their chosen item in the exhibition. Their different styles and perspectives will depict both the detail and overall impact of Araeen’s work and the other exhibits, in remembrance of David Oluwale.


David Oluwale was a British-Nigerian who drowned in the River Aire in April 1969, after being systematically harassed by members of the Leeds City Police force. Araeen was shocked and deeply moved after reading about Oluwale’s death in 1971, and decided to make a work dedicated to his story. This marked a shift in Araeen’s practice to political artwork. Before this, he had been making predominantly abstract artworks.

The Tetley exhibition is organised in partnership with the charity Remember Oluwale, which educates the city of Leeds in coming to terms with its past, improving its care for those who remain marginalised, and promoting equality, diversity and racial harmony.

Blind and partially-sighted people, and Deaf people who use sign language, are particularly welcome at this event, which is free and open to all – disabled and non-disabled people.

You must book in advance, as places at the event are very limited.

Event partners

Standard tickets

Tuesday 7 May 14:00 - 16:00
Free (booking required)
The Tetley

Additional Information:

The Tetley has a step-free entrance from the car park (spaces available for disabled people), accessible toilets and a lift to all floors.


Adam Bassett’s short films credits include Vanishing, Retreat, Four Deaf Yorkshiremen go to Blackpool, Deaf Funny, and Deaf Victorians, as well as starring in the BSL Zone sitcom Small World. In theatre he appeared in Love’s Labour’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and 4.48 Psychosis with Deafinitely Theatre, and in Up N Under with FingerSmith. Adam is also a Visual Vernacular performer and runs workshops with deaf children in deaf schools. Adam is based in Leeds but is originally from Hull.

Leanna Benjamin is a writer, performer, blogger, disability rights activist and fundraiser. She uses her creativity to share stories that inspire, encourage and provoke change.

She was one of five writers to be accepted onto Graeae theatre company’s Write to Play programme, which she recently completed. Her work has been performed at Leeds Playhouse, Ilkley Literature Festival and WOW (Women of the World) festivals.


An award-winning poet and playwright for radio and stage, Char March was born with multiple health problems as a result of an experimental drug damaging her immune system. She has worked on Disability Rights throughout her life.

She has been awarded the prestigious Hawthornden Fellowship (twice) and was one of the joint winners in the poetry section of the Remember Oluwale Writing Prize 2016.

Sai Murray is a writer, poet, performance and graphic artist of Bajan/Afrikan/English heritage. He is a board member of Remember Oluwale; was recently a commissioned artist for the inaugural Black Cultural Activism Map and lead writer on Virtual Migrants touring production, Continent Chop Chop. He is a founding artistic director of Voices that Shake!; a Numbi resident poet; a trustee of The Racial Justice Network; and an organising member of PARCOE. His first poetry collection Ad-liberation, was published in 2013.

Photo Credit: Kev Howard

Joe Williams is an actor/writer and founder/director of Heritage Corner and the Leeds Black History Walk, celebrating African history and diversity in Leeds by bringing this history to life through arts and social engagement projects. He holds an MA from the University of Leeds, where he is currently a Visiting Fellow. Joe has won many awards for services to the arts, education and history, including a Points of Light Award, from 10 Downing Street. Last year Joe was also chosen to deliver the prestigious Joseph Priestley Annual Lecture, by the Leeds Literature and Philosophical Society and the Leeds Library. This project is Joe’s 2nd involvement in Oluwale@50, having devised a special city centre walk in David’s honour.