--------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
50 YEARS SINCE HE WAS
DROWNED IN THE RIVER AIRE
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 Memorial Garden
The site for the memorial sculpture garden has now been agreed, and the world-famous artist we have commissioned is making a maquette of the sculpture that will be the centrepiece of the garden. We are now bidding for grants to pay for the research and development phase. Expect a full announcement early in 2020. An article by DOMA Secretary Max Farrar about the thinking behind the memorial garden was published in the journal Moving Worlds.
Spreading The Word
We have some David Oluwale merchandise the 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. We have commissioned an internationally famous artist to build a sculpture arising out of water and surrounded by greenery and benches. We are at an advanced stage in agreeing a site for this sculpture garden.
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.
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.