Saturday 16th October 2021 at 8pm, a BBC Radio 4 documentary: Remembering Oluwale
Tony Phillips (brother of Caryl Phillips) and Anna Scott-Brown (Overtone Productions) have been commissioned by the BBC to make a one hour radio documentary about David Oluwale and the repercussions of his life and death. DOMA members and supporters have provided interviews and we are looking forward to it being broadcast on Saturday 16th October at 8pm. Please tune in and tell your friends. It will be available on BBC Sounds afterwards.

This excellent programme is now available here on BBC Sounds:

The beautiful songs on the programme by the Leeds musician Ellen Smith — based on songs created by Leeds United fans after the trial of Ellerker and Kitching in 1971 — are available here

Friday 29th October 2021 at 5.30pm: An Aroko for David Oluwale
The new date for the installation of the plaque which contains Ian Duhig’s Aroko poem is Friday 29th October (at 1pm). This is so we can coincide with the launch of the refurbished Mary Seacole Garden. The site is very close to the Reginald Centre on Chapeltown Road (not far from where David briefly lived in 1963). Local councillors will be at this ceremony, Ian Duhig will read his poem, and you are all invited to join us for this important occasion. (For directions, search “Reginald Centre, Leeds”. The Mary Seacole Garden is adjacent to the Reginald Centre.)

Wednesday 10th November 2021, 5.30 - 8pm:
Why David Oluwale Matters: addressing race, mental ill-health & homelessness today.

We have arranged the first of an annual panel discussion on the issues David’s life and death provoke us to respond to today. This year it’s about the intersections between race, mental ill-health and homelessness. Our speakers our Alison Lowe (formerly CEO of Touchstone, now Deputy Mayor of West Yorkshire), Heather Nelson (CEO of Leeds Black Health Initiative) and Dr Abiye Hector-Goma (a general practitioner in Leeds). As always, we will bring the arts into the discussion, with poetry from Abdullah Adekola, Chérie Taylor Battiste, Dr Emily Zobel Marshall and others. It’s on Wednesday 10th November, 5.30-8pm at St George’s Centre, 60 Great George Street, LS1 3DL. It’s “pay as you feel” so please book your ticket now by clicking here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/why-david-oluwale-matters-race-mental-ill-health-homelessness-today-tickets-177082527607?aff=ebdssbeac Please circulate this link among your friends.

Councillors Jane Dowson, Mohammed Rafique and Eileen Taylor, socially distanced, at the Mary Seacole Garden, 22.6.21 © Max Farrar

Poster design: Chloe Hudson


In support of David Oluwale’s Leeds, with Joe Williams and poets on Saturday 17th July 2021, here are some photos of places in Leeds city centre that David knew well, including places where he had a drink and danced, places where he slept rough, and the site where we believe Inspector Ellerker and Sergeant Kitching caused him to drown.

Participants in the walk on Saturday are invited to download this slideshow, and view them as Joe explains their significance. Click here to download.

Everyone is welcome to access these photos. The ‘map location’ on each photo is a reference to the David Oluwale’s Leeds map that you might want to purchase — if so, email us at rememberoluwale.gmail.com Minimum donation for the map is £3.


EVENTS The Covid-19 pandemic has cramped our style but we’re back in business. Our first event for some time takes place at 2pm on Saturday 17th July — David Oluwale’s Leeds with Joe Williams and the poets Michelle Scally Clarke, Ian Duhig and Abdullah Adekola.

Book here through Eventbrite.

It’s “pay as you feel” and it was sold out last time, so book now!


Progress has been made on the Yinka Shonibare Sculpture project — the iconic art at the heart of the David Oluwale Memory Garden to be launched in 2023. We are immensely grateful to Leeds 2023 and Arts Council England for granting us money to commission a maquette (model) of the sculpture Yinka Shonibare CBE has designed for us.


The DOMA Board has developed its not-for-profit business strategy for 2021-24. This includes ambitious plans for a programme of arts events, discussion panels, and an annual lecture, all linked to David Oluwale’s story and its relevance today. It includes implementing the Oluwale Memory Garden sculpture, and outlining an idea for a David Oluwale Digital Cultural Centre. Contact us at rememberoluwale@gmail.com if you’d like to read our plans.


DOMA’s success to date is heavily dependent on the many and various partnerships we have. We are delighted to have formed a new partnership with the Geraldine Connor Foundation and we will contribute to their summer programme of work with young people.


If you’d like to help us please check this link.
Please like us and follow us on the #RememberOluwale pages on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our You Tube channel.

Historian, actor, playwright and director Joe Williams, leading the David Oluwale’s Leeds event in April 2019. © Max Farrar

Announcing the Shonibare Sculpture

After several years of preparatory work, we are delighted to announce that the internationally celebrated artist, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, will create a new sculpture as a hopeful, beautiful, forward-looking tribute to David Oluwale.

The sculpture will be installed in the new Aire Park, in the city centre, just south of the River Aire, near to the point where David was drowned in 1969. This will be a very special place which will be regularly animated by a programme of performances (music, spoken work, dance).

This will be a space in which all the diverse populations of Leeds can come together to contemplate the city’s past and forge a compassionate, inclusive and socially just city. It will open in 2023.

Partnerships are the key

We have reached this point because of the enormous support we have had from our many and various partners, including, from the start, Councillor Keith Wakefield (while leader of Leeds City Council), Nigerian Community Leeds and Leeds West Indian Centre. Key to recent developments have been Baroness Judith Blake, (while leader of Leeds City Council), and Kully Thiarai, Creative Director of the Leeds 2023 cultural festival. Leeds City Council continues to be a major supporter of our project. We thank them all very much.

We are also immensely grateful to Arts Council England, Leeds 2023, Leeds Civic Trust and many private donors (including Lord and Lady Harewood’s Charitable Settlement and The National Skateboard Co.) for getting us to this stage of the project.

We now have funds in place to employ freelance consultants to guide us in Phase 2 — raising the funds to make the sculpture, and delivering a community engagement programme. That’s going to involve an enormous amount of work! Keep up with us on this site and via our #RememberOluwale social media as we steam ahead.
If you would like to receive our Newsletter (about eight times a year) and/or want further information, and/or want to offer your help, please email us at rememberoluwale@gmail.com

To read the full press announcement of this project, click here.


The lockdown imposed by the pandemic has affected all of our plans for #RememberOluwale. Even with the lifting of restrictions we are aware that the virus is here to stay and that we must follow all the regulations on public events. We are now tentatively planning events for April 2021 to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of David’s killing. We are most grateful for funding from Leeds2023 which allows the first phase of our work on the David Oluwale Memory Garden in Aire Park to start now. We will use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep our message in circulation, and to announce events when we have the details. Please stay in touch.

Blog Here is a recent article referring to #BlackLivesMatter on The Tetley’s website by DOMA’s Secretary https://www.thetetley.org/whats-on/max-farrar-blog.

Films We have uploaded a large number of films onto our YouTube channel, made by the team at Panoptical led by Ashley Karrell. You’ll see Linton Kwesi Johnson, Jackie Kay, Ian Duhig, Zaffar Kunial, Joe Williams, Juwon Ogungbe, Kim Ho, Taiwo Ogunyinka, Melanie Abrahams, John McLeod and many others, including DOMA Board members Abdullah Adekola, Victoria Ajayi, John Battle, Max Farrar and Emily Zobel Marshall. Check them out here.

Here is our Newsletter for June-July 2020, full of interesting information about our recent activity, particularly relating to #BlackLivesMatter. If you would like to join our Newsletter list (about eight issues per year), email us at rememberoluwale@gmail.com

Yinka Shonibare’s Wind Sculpture II (at his exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2013). © Yinka Shonibare CBE
The David Oluwale poster campaign © Garry Clarkson www.garryclarkson.com

The #RememberOluwale charity believes that David Oluwale was hounded to his death by two Leeds’ policemen in the early hours of 18th April 1969. We held a series of events from 17th to 23rd April 2019 to remember David’s story, to help the city of Leeds come to terms with his abjection, and to inspire energy, compassion and commitment to make progress on all the issues he reminds us of: mental ill-health, homelessness, racism, police malpractice and more. For our campaign, the artist Rasheed Araeen inspired this photo (above) of David Oluwale to be installed all over Leeds. We are grateful to the photographer Garry Clarkson for recording this art intervention and for allowing us to reproduce his photos.

50th anniversary events poster © Andrew Edwards. Photo © Garry Clarkson

Progress on the David Oluwale Memory Garden

Despite the Covid19 pandemic, we are continuing to work with our partners on developing the sculpture garden in David’s name near the Leeds Bridge. Our bids for funding are being revised, and we have had lots of encouragement. We are resolved to deliver this special place for all of the people of Leeds at some time in the next three years.An article by DOMA Secretary Max Farrar about the thinking behind the memorial garden was published in the journal Moving Worlds.
You can download the article here.

Spreading The Word

We have some David Oluwale merchandise that might make good presents.

David’s Map: A quick way of understanding the full story of David Oluwale’s life and death is to consult this map, designed for us by Sai Murray. We are selling these for £2.

Spreading The Word

David’s Pens: We’ve also got these branded high-quality pens for sale at £2.

David’s Book: And we still have some copies of our Remembering Oluwale Anthology (ed. SJ Bradley) for sale at £8.99. This contains articles and poems about David by well-known people such as Caryl Phillips, Ian Duhig, Kester Aspden and Linton Kwesi Johnson, as well as new work by emerging writers and poets reflecting on David Oluwale.

Andy Edwards’ design for our leaflet for the 50th anniversary events

GOOD MEDIA for #DavidOluwale50th


The events we organised in April 2019, commemorating 50 years since David was hounded to his death in the River Aire in Leeds got lots of coverage in the mainstream media.

Here’s ITV Calendar News on the 50th anniversary of David’s death

Here’s ITV’s item linking David’s death to the death of Christopher Alder in police custody in Hull 20 years ago, featuring Janet Alder and DOMA Patron Ruth Bundey

BBC Look North covered the event at David’s graveside but so far we only have this iPhone copy late evening broadcast

The Yorkshire Evening Post also reported our work:

Yorkshire Evening Post's article about the David Oluwale graveside event: 

And Anthony Clavane’s column in the Yorkshire Post explained how DOMA uses art to spread our message

The BBC provided this story online about the impact of David's death on Leeds:

And Tom Overton in the national London Review of Books said this

David Oluwale poster campaign

We teamed up with the artists Rasheed Araeen (London) and Andy Edwards (Leeds) to produce a huge poster campaign all over the city. Rasheed is the first fine artist to respond to the killing of David Oluwale. His For Oluwale 1971-3/19755 was recently on display in Rasheed’s exhibition at The Baltic in Gateshead. His For Oluwale 2 (1987) was at The Tetley Centre for Contemporary Art in Leeds from February until early June this year. Rasheed prompted us to print 100 huge posters of the police photo of David Oluwale (the only image we have) and have them installed on the PopArt barrels across Leeds. He wanted the image, with no words, to provoke memories and questions.

One example of the Rasheed Araeen ‘For Oluwale 3’ poster campaign © Garry Clarkson

These posters, as we hoped, prompted this article in the Yorkshire Evening Post:

Andy Edwards designed this huge poster for us to display on three of PopArt’s billboard:

Andy Edwards’ billboard advert for our events, on York Street, Leeds © Max Farrar

A version of this image appeared on PopArt’s barrels across the city

Andy Edwards’ poster on Chapeltown Road, Leeds 7 © Max Farrar

And here it is on the digital screen in Kirkstall market:

Andy Edwards’ poster on the screen in Kirkstall market, Leeds. © Max Farrar


Our flagship project is the creation of a memorial garden in the centre of Leeds, close to the River Aire, that will help us to remember David, and to promote a hopeful and creative city here in Leeds.

Our vision is that the Memorial Garden is a beautiful, joyful place where:

  • everyone is welcome
  • there is sanctuary for all who are vulnerable
  • the diversity of the cultures in Leeds is expressed
  • quiet reflection is possible
  • debate about the issues facing the city of Leeds may take place
  • pleasure and conviviality are to be enjoyed
  • social justice is promoted
  • growth takes place — in flora and fauna, and in the lives of individuals and groups
  • creativity in all its forms (music, film, art etc) abounds
  • performance (spoken word, drama, dance etc) is produced
  • and the gardens will be playful places, attractive to people of all ages and types.

A full account of DOMA’s thinking about the Memorial Garden was published in the journal Moving Worlds. You can download it here.

Keep Up To Date with #RememberOluwale

RememberOluwale uses Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to provide information published today that relates to the issues that marked David’s life: mental ill-health, homelessness, racism, destitution and police malpractice. David was a British citizen who migrated here, so we also provide information relating to those seeking refuge in the UK. We give credit to the city of Leeds for the progress it has made since David’s days. But there is so much more to be done. Our aim, always, is to help the city of Leeds become more inclusive, more just, more hospitable and more equal. Please go to our social media to find out about current campaigns.

David Oluwale Memorial Association. A registered charity No. 1151426. A company limited by guarantee No. 8107693.