--------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
53 YEARS SINCE HE WAS
DROWNED IN THE RIVER AIRE
David Oluwale Sculpture Garden Community Engagement Events June-July 2022
The people of Leeds (and everywhere else) are invited to see Yinka Shonibare’s maquette (model) of the sculpture that is being planned for the Meadow Lane section of Aire Park, near the River Aire, (Aire Park is currently being constructed around The Tetley Art Centre). And there will be a short film of the maquette being made while Yinka explains what this proposed sculpture means to him. This project is being managed by LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture in conjunction with Leeds City Council and DOMA. Funding permitting, the sculpture will be installed in 2023.
Four community engagements events are taking place in south, west, north and east Leeds (all from 6 - 7.30pm):
Wednesday 29th June, at The Hamara Healthy Living Centre, Beeston. Full information here.
Tuesday 5th July at Left Bank Centre, Burley. Full information here.
Thursday 7th July at Seven Arts, Chapel Allerton. Full information here.
Tuesday 12th July at Old Fire Station, Gipton Full information here.
There will be some short introductions followed by café-style discussions about the Oluwale issues (migration, mental health, homelessness, racism, police malpractice) — and how the David Oluwale Memory Garden might be used to contribute to making Leeds a more welcoming, inclusive and equal city for ALL its residents.
A Leeds Civic Trust Blue Plaque for David Oluwale installed — and stolen
After a moving ceremony in the Meadow Lane Green space on 25th April 2022, followed by poetry from Ian Duhig and the David Oluwale Choir singing Leeds United fans’ songs for David Oluwale, arranged by Ellen Smith, DOMA Founding Patron unveiled a Blue Plaque for David Oluwale, adding to Leeds Civic Trusts ongoing programme of telling the stories of Leeds. Four hours later it was stolen. A storm of protest sprung up, spearheaded by the Yorkshire Evening Post. JCDeceaux gave photos of the plaque on its digital screens across Leeds. Awesome Merchandise gave us stickers of the Blue Plaque, which popped up everywhere. Cllr Jonathan Pryor made a temporary replacement which then got torn in half. Leeds Civic Trust launched a Crowdfunded and lots of money came in. The BBC website reported the police decision to treat this as a hate crime. Two people were later arrested. A new Plaque is being made and another installation is being planned for early September.
Harry Meadley’s 45 minute film of the Blue Plaque Ceremony is on our You Tube Channel. It gives a full flavour of this moving and important moment in the story of Leeds. Please click on the photo of Cllr Abigail Marshall Katung, DOMA co-chair, to see the film.
A new film about David and DOMA
Harry Meadley made this short film for us, supporting our effort to install a Blue Plaque for David Oluwale. You’ll see DOMA Board members telling David’s story and explaining why it’s so important, and the Director of Leeds Civic Trust explaining their decision to award a Blue Plaque for David. Only six minutes long, the film packs a punch. (It’s on our YouTube Channel:RememberOluwale — please subscribe!)
Thanks to Yinka Shonibare OBE RA and our friends at welcomeleeds.com we now have our own Tee shirt. Yinka (who is making the sculpture for David Oluwale, to be installed in Meadow Lane in 2023) gave us the design and DOMA gets an advert on the back.
Only £20 including P&P; all profits go to DOMA. Email us now for yours (stating the size you want): email@example.com There’s more DOMA merchandise on our HELP page.
BBC RADIO DOCUMENTARY ABOUT DAVID OLUWALE
Anna Scott-Brown (Overtone Productions) and Tony Phillips made a marvellous 60 minute radio documentary for the BBC about David Oluwale (broadcast on 16.10.2021). It told David’s story and commented on its relevance today by assembling interviews with all sorts of people. It was very well received and —if you haven’t heard it already — please listen to it now. It’s available here on BBC Sounds: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0010n8c
ELLEN SMITH SINGS LEEDS UNITED’S SONGS FOR DAVID OLUWALE
For the radio documentary, Tony Phillips commissioned Leeds singer-songwriter Ellen Smith to arrange and sing the songs that Leeds United fans sang after the trial of Ellerker and Kitching in 1971 (included in Kester Aspden’s riveting book The Hounding of David Oluwale (2008)). The two songs were then recorded by Ellen and can be heard on her Bandcamp site, along with the song she recorded for a documentary about Leeds United. Listen here. Ellen has kindly donated proceeds from the Oluwale songs to DOMA.
Ellen is helping us create The David Oluwale Choir. It will perform her new arrangements of the Leeds United David Oluwale songs at the unveiling on the Blue Plaque for David Oluwale on Leeds Bridge on 25th April (see event listing below). More information about the choir is here. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join. No experience necessary — everyone is welcome.
Monday 25th April 2022: Unveiling a new Blue Plaque
In partnership with Leeds Civic Trust, we are unveiling the Blue Plaque for David Oluwale on Monday 25th April 2022, at 5pm, on Leeds Bridge — very close to the point where Inspector Ellerker and Sergeant Kitching caused David to drown in the River Aire. This will be almost exactly 53 years since that fateful morning (on 18th April 1969). Everyone is welcome to join us on the bridge for this historic event.
There will be a short speech from our founding Patron, Caryl Phillips. (His essay on David in his book Foreigners — Three English Lives (2007) prompted us to form the David Oluwale Memorial Association.)
Our co-Chair Cllr Abigail Marshall Katung; Jane Taylor, Chair of Leeds Civic Trust; Alison Lowe OBE, Deputy Mayor of West Yorkshire for Crime and Policing; and Detective Chief Superintendent Carl Galvin, son of Police Cadet Gary Galvin, who exposed the crimes against David Oluwale, will also say a few words.
They will be accompanied by the David Oluwale Choir, singing the songs composed by Leeds United fans after the imprisonment of Inspector Ellerker and Sergeant Kitching in 1971. (Versions of these songs, by Ellen Smith, can be heard here. Ellen will train the David Oluwale Choir. If you’d like to join the choir, please get in touch: email@example.com.)
And there will be poetry specially written for David Oluwale by Ian Duhig and Joel Leigh.
Attendance is ‘pay as you feel’ — we need to control the numbers (Leeds Bridge will be open to traffic) so please let us know you are coming by entering your information into this Eventbrite form.
Afterwards, everyone is welcome to come with us to The Tetley Centre for Contemporary Art (just over the Bridge) for a drink and conversation.
We are very grateful to Leeds Civic Trust and Leeds Inspired for their support for this event.
Caryl Phillips, DOMA’s founding patron, will be in conversation with DOMA Co-Chair Dr Emily Zobel Marshall, explaining the creative response he and other artists have made to David Oluwale’s life and death, at 5pm on 26th April in The Leeds Library (the one on Commercial Street next to the Co-Op Bank). And DOMA Secretary Max Farrar will present a short summary of a chapter he wrote debating whether or not David Oluwale might be considered a secular martyr. Further information and registration details (as usual, the event is ‘pay as you feel’) are here.
This event will be followed by a creative writing workshop with students at Leeds Beckett University, which will contribute to Volume 2 of the Remembering Oluwale Anthology. (Volume 1 is available here.)
We are very grateful to the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities at LBU and The Leeds Library for their support for this event..
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to read our plans.
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.
The Yinka Shonibare Sculpture in the David Oluwale Memory Garden
After several years of preparatory work, we announced in 2021 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 maquette (model) will be on display at The Tetley Art Centre from 9th September 2022 to 8th January 2023.
Thanks to the support of Leeds City Council and the LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture, Yinka's sculpture will be installed in Meadow Lane in the new Aire Park, close to the new David Oluwale Bridge (funding permitting). This is 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.
An article by DOMA Secretary Max Farrar about the thinking behind the memorial garden was published in the journal Moving Worlds in 2017.
You can download the article here.
The David Oluwale Bridge
In another recognition of the significance of David’s story and its relevance today, Leeds City Council has decided to name its new footbridge over the River Aire after David. The bridge will link Meadow Lane to Sovereign Square, making the Memory Garden and sculpture highly accessible. Read the BBC’s story about this here.
Partnerships are the key
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. We contributed to their 2021 ‘Locks to Legacies’ summer programme of work with young people. And, if our funding bid is successful, a group of young people who are linked to GCF will lead the arts programme that will animate the Meadow Lane area on a couple of Saturdays this summer (2022).
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.
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.
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.