Skip navigation

(Multi)Cultural Organisational Archives


Banner artwork by Laura Crow and Chantal Herbert

Archives are a vital part of cultural heritage, offering users a sense of history, place, identity and relationships. The aim of this project is to collect and publicise the dispersed archives of Black and ethnic organisations involved in cultural and community development in the North East of England, featuring Sangini and Vamos; partners Everyday Muslim Heritage & Archive and the Angelou Centre, and participants the Pakistan Cultural Society and Beacon.

The project was inspired during Northumbria’s AHRC-funded research ‘(Multi)Cultural Heritage’, a partnership with several minority-led organisations in Newcastle-Gateshead and Manchester who have long held essential leadership positions within minority communities. Partners raised the problem of the lack of an historical record of Black and minority ethnic organisers’ work and activism to achieve equality in the culture and society of the region. The creation of a living archive of past activities recognises the histories of Black organisational achievements within the cultural ecology of the North East. It is an important foundation for future generations of community volunteers and professionals: a ‘heritage’ worthy of preservation.  

Watch this space for further details. 



Creating a Black Community and Cultural Archive

Sat, 5 December 2020 13:00 – 15:00 GMT

Online event sponsored by Northumbria University


  • Sadiya Ahmed, Founder, Everyday Muslim Heritage and Archive Initiative, UK
  • Rhoda Boateng, Archives Supervisor, Black Cultural Archives, London
  • Iris Rajanayagam, Director, Xart Splitta, Berlin
  • Jennifer Vickers, Community Engagement Manager, Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust, Manchester

Click here to view the webinar.

a photo of Sadiya AhmedSadiya Ahmed established Everyday Muslim Heritage and Archive Initiative in response to the lack of representation of the Muslim narrative in both archives and museums in Britain. To date, there are three archive collections held at five archive depositories across London and the South-East. Alongside her experience of fundraising, project planning and managing heritage projects, she has also negotiated collaborations and partnerships with museums, archives, academics, artists, media and community groups across Britain.


a photo of Rhoda BoatengRhoda Boateng is Archives Supervisor at Black Cultural Archives (BCA). Founded in 1981, BCA is the only national heritage centre dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in the UK. From their home in Brixton, BCA runs gallery exhibitions, educational programmes and public engagement events alongside providing free access to their unique set of archives, museum objects and reference library.



a photo of Iris RajanayagamIris Rajanayagam is a historian (MA Modern / Contemporary History, University of Cologne / Humboldt University Berlin / University of Dar es Salaam). She works on post- and decolonial theories, intersectionality, politics of memory and social change; her focus is always lying on the connection of theory and praxis. She is director of the non-profit organisation Xart Splitta and researcher and lecturer at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Science in the module: “Racism and Migration”. Besides this Iris Rajanayagam is co-founder of the radio show “Talking Feminisms” on and was active in The Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants for many years. From 2013 to 2016 she was part of the editing team of the magazine “Leben nach Migration” (Eng.: “Life after Migration”) of the Migrationsrat Berlin, where she is also a board member.


a photo of Jennifer VickersJennifer Vickers is a visual artist and heritage practitioner with 20 years experience of working in museums, galleries and archives. In her current role at the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust, she manages 'Coming in From the Cold', a three-year NLHF project to increase the representation and visibility of ethnically and culturally diverse populations in Greater Manchester's archives. To secure funding, she conducted an audit of heritage projects and collections in the city region. This audit identified an absence of material relating to a range of cultures, geographical locations and narratives. The 'Coming in from the Cold' team has worked with over 50 groups to address these omissions and hopes to accession 30 new collections relating to community-led heritage projects by the end of their funding in March 2021.

In previous roles at the AIUET, Jennifer managed oral history projects including 'Yemeni Roots, Salford Lives' (2012) and 'The Legacy of Ahmed' (2015). She currently delivers training sessions in oral history and creative reminiscence, as well as advising community groups on project ideas, funding applications and activity delivery. In 2019, she co-authored a paper on 'Participatory Archives', which was published by Facet press. 

Back to top