British Bengalis have a proud history of political action said author Sarah Glynn. She was talking at 2015 Writeidea Festival, Idea Store Whitechapel on 14 November 2015. Sarah Glynn was introduced by Ansar Ahmed Ullah co-author of ‘Bengalis in London’s East End.Sarah Glynn is an academic and architect. She studied architecture at Trinity College Cambridge and Oxford Polytechnic, and worked as an architect for 13 years before returning to academia. Her PhD, from University College London, looked at the political mobilisation of immigrants in the London’s East End, comparing the experience of the Jews historically and Bengalis today.
At the talk she drew from her recent book ‘Class, Ethnicity & Religion in the Bengali East End: A Political History’ to look at what this means for radical change. Citing examples from the Bangladesh’s independence movement, the 1970s squatters, and the rise of Islamism, she argued that the progressive left has lost sight of the class politics that unites different groups in the shared struggle for greater equality.
2015 Writeidea Festival is part of Idea Store, Tower Hamlets Council’s innovative library, learning and information service. The festival has been running since 2009 and is part of the Idea Store programme of free book-based activities for adults and children which are aimed at getting more people to read – and getting people to read more. The event ended with a Q&A session chaired by Ansar Ahmed Ullah.