--------REMEMBER DAVID OLUWALE--------DROWNED 18 APRIL 1969--------50TH ANNIVERSARY 2019--------LEEDS / WEST YORKSHIRE / UK--------REMEMBER DAVID OLUWALE--------DROWNED 18 APRIL 1969--------50TH ANNIVERSARY 2019--------LEEDS / WEST YORKSHIRE / UK
51 YEARS SINCE HE WAS
DROWNED IN THE RIVER AIRE
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. Situated very close to a children’s play area and surrounded by landscaped green space, 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, Nigerian Community Leeds and Leeds West Indian Centre. Key to this development have been Cllr Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, and Kully Thiarai, Creative Director of the Leeds 2023 cultural festival. Equally crucial has been the team at Vastint UK, the developer of Aire Park. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 email@example.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.
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.
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.
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:
A version of this image appeared on PopArt’s barrels across the city
And here it is on the digital screen in Kirkstall market:
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.