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Altab Ali Day launched in Tower Hamlets

Anti-racist demonstration, Whitechapel High Street

Anti-racist demonstration, Whitechapel High Street

A series of events will take place in Tower Hamlets on Wednesday 4 May as part of a poignant and important commemoration of the life, and untimely death of Altab Ali in 1978.

His tragic, senseless and racially motivated murder in a park in Whitechapel that now bears his name, helped mobilise a profound, heartfelt and energetic anti-racism movement.

The anti-racism movement engaged both the Bengali and wider communities resulting in a high profile stand against hatred and intolerance, including an historic march to Downing Street carrying Ali’s coffin.

Events on the day will include a theatrical production of The Altab Ali Story, an exhibition, a relaunch of the Kobi Nazrul Arts Centre and a wreath laying ceremony at Altab Ali Park.

Steve Murray, Head of Arts, Parks and Event said: “We are proud that Altab Ali Day will observe and pay tribute to the local, national and international significance of his legacy and the resulting rise of the anti-racism movement in Tower Hamlets and elsewhere”.

Swadhinata Trust, an organisation that promotes Bengali heritage to young people, will be presenting The Altab Ali Story at the Brady Arts Centre in Hanbury Street, Whitechapel.

The production tells the true and terrible story about that day nearly four decades ago and it subsequent impact.

It uses drama to give a moving and human touch to the issues of adversity, friendship, hopes and dreams through the personal story of Altab Ali and explores themes around the cultural environment in the late 1970s, and the subsequent anti-racist movement.

There will be two free daytime performances for school groups on Wednesday 4 May, at 10.30am and 2pm, as well as one public performance at 8.45pm. Tickets for the evening performance cost of £8/£5.

This will be accompanied by a group exhibition focusing on images created during and after 1978 and using mixed media to present work by a range of local artists including Dan Jones, Alice Sielle, Danielle LaMarche, Phil Maxwell and Paul Trevor.

The free exhibition will be displayed at two venues, the Brady Arts Centre and the Kobi Nazrul Centre until Friday 20 May.

There will be a short ceremony at Altab Ali Park from 6pm to lay wreaths and poetry readings, followed by refreshments and then a re-launch of the Kobi Nazrul Arts Centre at 6.45pm

The Kobi Nazrul Arts Centre in Brick Lane, is the council’s flagship South Asian Arts Centre.

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