Formation: Love

The transformative nature of the everyday feeling of love.

Destiny Ekaragha once said that Black British filmmakers were not expected to make films about ordinary family stories and everyday things – like love. This segment foregrounds the transformative nature of the everyday feeling of love in art, writing, and research, while it also helps us to think about how the concept of love is defined, understood, and restricted, if love is understood and represented in limited ways. The free, online events in this segment consider the expression, meaning, contexts, and impact of love by exploring the work of artists, writers and thinkers, emphasising questions of gender, sexuality, race, and culture.

The segment begins with a conversation between Eve Makis and Young Adult fiction writer Nicola Garrard, whose novel about love and canal journeys 29 Locks was recently published by HopeRoad, one of the publishers that we work with very often at the Postcolonial Studies Centre. Later in the segment, we are very excited to welcome Ferdinand Dennis to NTU. His on-campus event with Black Writing in Britain students and book signing will be recorded for a special film event for Formations. Other events in the segment include Formations ‘visits’ to Becky Cullen’s WRAP (Writing, Reading and Pleasure) to join her event with writer Musa Okwonga. In addition, Tom Lockwood-Moran hosts a fascinating book reading and discussion event on the Power of Queer Caribbean Love with Indo-Trinidadian poet Shivanee Ramlochan.

The Formations programme is an online series of free, public events led by the Postcolonial Studies Centre at Nottingham Trent University in collaboration with Bonington Gallery. The series foregrounds the work of underrepresented writers, academics, artists, intellectuals and activists worldwide who address inequalities of all kinds, often bringing people from different places and working practices together for important conversations.


Young Adult fiction writer Nicola Garrard in conversation with Eve Makis
Tuesday 1 February 2022 6.30 7.30 pm

This free event is a must for anyone who reads Young Adult fiction or has an interest in writing for young people. Nicola Garrard will be talking about her Young Adult novel, 29 Locks, an unflinching depiction of urban teen life in London. The book was shortlisted in the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize and the Mslexia Children’s Novel Competition. She will be reading from the book and answering audience questions. Hosted by Eve Makis.

Participants wishing to purchase Nicola Garrard’s newly published novel can do so online.

Book your free place


Research Seminar: Jennifer Leetsch on Love and Space in Contemporary African Diasporic Women’s Writing
Wednesday 9 February 2022, 1.00 2.00 pm

Formations is joining NTU’s English Research Seminar series to welcome researcher Jennifer Leetsch who will talk about her recently published book, Love and Space in Contemporary African Diasporic Women’s Writing.

The book combines careful literary analyses with in-depth discussions of cultural and socio-historical contexts by considering the world-making powers of the old novel form in the third millennium as well as the formative effect of new digital media.

Email Jenni Ramone at to reserve your free place. You will then be sent a link to the Teams meeting and further instructions on how to join.


The Power of Queer Caribbean Love: A Reading and Discussion Event with Shivanee Ramlochan
Wednesday 16 February 2022, 6.00 7.30 pm

Bonington Gallery and NTU’s Postcolonial Studies Centre warmly invite all queer lovers, and allied others, to a belated valentine date: diving the depths with Indo-Trinidadian poet Shivanee Ramlochan. The evening will include readings from Ramlochan’s striking first collection, Everyone Knows I am a Haunting (2017), plus exclusive new writing, and a discussion contextualising queerness and literary Caribbeanness, with NTU literary researcher Thomas Lockwood-Moran (Midlands4Cities-funded doctoral candidate). This discussion seeks to invoke public engagement, which will be heartily welcomed, to empower an exploration of queer love —love of others and crucial self-love. Never avoiding the harsh global realities of oppression and its traumas experienced by queer persons, always multiplied for queer persons of colour, this event will consider the literary throb of Ramlochan’s queer heart as a stalwart shield against colonial oppressions past, present and into the future.

Book your free place


Creative Writing Workshop: How do I write thee…? – A workshop on writing ‘Love’ with Nora Nadjarian. Led by Eve Makis
Wednesday 23rd February 2022, 6.30 – 8.00pm

Let us find the ways in which fresh perspectives can make love intimate or silly, surprising or sexy, romantic or sarcastic in our writing. In this generative workshop we will be looking at examples of contemporary poetry and flash fiction that will dispel any clichés and energise rehashed ideas you may have on the subject. You will be given prompts to write your unique pieces.

Open to all skill levels.

Book your free place


Empowerment Doll-making workshop with artist Rita Kappia
Time & date tbc

Following Rita Kappia’s hugely successful Zoom workshop and YouTube instructional video produced for last years Formations programme, we are delighted to welcome back Rita to deliver another workshop. Details will be announced very soon.
Rita Kappia is an artist dollmaker from Nottingham. Rita Kappia’s Empowerment Dolls have become synonymous with exploring artistic expression and self-identity – an exploration of one’s sense-of-self. Her collectables have served as a reminder and representation of new empowering thoughts, feelings and expressions to explore and cultivate. 


Ferdinand Dennis on The Black and White Museum
Thursday 24 March 2022, 6.00 7.30 pm

In this free, livestreamed event, Formations audiences will be able to watch critically acclaimed author Ferdinand Dennis‘ visit to NTU English students from the ‘Black Writing in Britain’ module. Ferdinand will read from his newly published collection of short stories, The Black and White Museum, and discuss his work, life, and career.

From Ferdinand Dennis, the critically acclaimed author of the novel Duppy Conqueror, comes The Black and White Museum, a collection of both highly personal and universal short stories. These at their heart reveal the emotional drama of faded love, the loss of individual and shared memory and the wistful longing for home. His stories powerfully portray the black presence in post-Windrush London, with its hurtling gentrification and everyday racism. Ferdinand’s characters gain wisdom and maturity with age but become powerless, as they are less able to change the course of their lives. For some there is the temptation of a return “home” but home, like London, has also moved on and is not the paradise of their memories.

Book your free place


WRAP Live! with Musa Okwonga
Tuesday 29 March 2022, 7.00 8.30 pm

Musa Okwonga joins Dr Becky Cullen for a discussion about his path from an Eton scholarship, Oxford and the Law, to being a Berlin-based writer with a passion for football. Musa will also be talking about poetry, music, and his fabulous new novel In the End, It Was All About Love. Published by Rough Trade, the book is our WRAP spring title and February’s Notts TV Book Club choice. They’ll also be talking about Musa’s football blog and podcast Stadio and Striking Out, his book collaboration with Arsenal legend Ian Wright

Book your free place



Tue 1 Feb 2022 - Thu 31 Mar 2022


These online events are open to anyone and admission is free.

Coming Soon

Feb 2022 - Mar 2022
Formation: Love
Mar 2022 - May 2022
Reactor: Here, the Gold Ones flatter
Apr 2022 - Apr 2022
Call for Papers: Building Bridges Conference