Scotland, Race and Empire

Online Event
Tue 29 Sep
17:00 UK
Free, ticketed

How can Scotland come to terms with its colonial history and the legacy of empire? Does the campaign to remove statues, such as that of Henry Dundas, make a real difference? Or is it a distraction from more immediate and pressing issues about representation throughout Scottish society? 

Our panel: 

Hannah Lavery is a Scottish poet, playwright and performer. The Drift, her autobiographical spoken word show, was part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s 2019 season and Black History Month 2019. 

Sir Geoff Palmer is Professor Emeritus in the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and a human rights activist.

Lisa Williams is the director of the Edinburgh Caribbean Association. She runs Black History Walking Tours of Edinburgh and educational workshops in Scottish schools.

Thulani Rachia is an artist, teacher and curator based in Glasgow. Growing up in South Africa, his arts practice integrates the fields of architecture, performing and visual arts.


In association with the charity StageTEXT, this event will include live surtitles for people with hearing loss.

To find out more go to stagetext.org.

Supported by The Castansa Trust.


How do online events work?

Adults & young people

Unless otherwise indicated, you can watch events on our website homepage (or on the event page in the programme), or on our YouTube channel. We'll send you further information nearer the time.

During the event, you can ask a question by using the box on the homepage, or in the chat box on YouTube (you'll need a google account for the latter).


Unless otherwise indicated, Children's events will be streaming to the Big Wig Facebook page.

If the event is free do I need to sign up?

No. You can go to our website or YouTube channel and watch most events without registering. However, it’s still worth signing up as you will be sent a link to the event and a reminder 30 minutes beforehand.

Further information and FAQs

Catch up

Many of the events will be available on catch up.

Buy the book

Browse our festival bookshop, which has titles from nearly every event in the programme.