07/06/2017: We collaborated with Common Ground Oxford to put on a series of talks. 

Common Ground is a movement to examine Oxford’s colonial past in the context of its present inequalities. Its aims are to create a space for people of colour, and people from non-elite backgrounds at the institution, and are hosting a symposium to discuss Oxford’s relationship with British imperialism in the context of institutional racism and classism in the present day.  Find out more here.

In light of this, we focused our attention this series on the importance of creating a space and defining your own identity rather than having it imposed on you.


The list of speakers was as follows:

Ellie Dibben & Ellie MacDonald // Patrik & Archie: 'Tokenism, tailcoats and parodying the patriarchy'

Ellie Mac and Ellie Dibben are two drag princes who run Harleking. Harleking runs drag workshops and events such as Queer Cabaret to raise money for LGBTQ+ charities, especially local campaigns. They have organised the launch of the Pitt Rivers LGBTQ+ trail, the Chiltern Open Air Museum's Pride and have performed around Oxford. They both like ruffle shirts and good hats.


Neha Shah: 'Surviving in Institutions that weren't created for you'

Neha is a second year English student at St Peter's, where she is currently the college's BAME representative. She is a founder of RISE, Oxford's first women of colour collective and campaigns for issues including race, mental health and migration. She edits liberation politics magazine PAN and has written for the Independent and the New Statesman.


Elli Siora: 'What it means to cry like a girl' 

Elli Siora studies History at Regents Park College. She enjoys drawing on buildings with chalk and early morning swims. Since arriving at Oxford, Elli has enjoyed making film and theatre based around women’s experience. During her first year at university, she made a film ‘Bench’ looking at the experience of autism for women. Recently, she wrote and directed ‘Rewritten’ at the Pilch which wanted to put a stubborn, idealistic and emotional woman making mistakes on the Oxford stage.