SOAS University of London

SOAS South Asia Institute

Ladies Who Punch in Conversation with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

IMG - Ladies who punch
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Nyla Levy

Date: 23 October 2020Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 23 October 2020Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Virtual Event


Ladies Who Punch

Courageous women change history and remould our culture. For centuries, rebel ladies have been punching up, fighting for freedoms and equality, challenging the world order. Today, the next generation continue the fight, boldly marching, banners flying, into a brighter future.And yet, women’s contributions are routinely marginalised, squeezed aside by the usual cast of pale, male and stale characters. Determined to redress the balance, veteran journalist and author Yasmin Alibhai-Brown sets lesser-known names alongside the most famous, celebrating fifty daring, courageous, indomitable women. There’s Anne Lister, the lesbian landowner; Sophia Singh, the forgotten suffragette; detective superintendent Shabnam Chaudhri, the first Asian/Muslim to hold that role in the Met; and Harriet Wistrich, the superlative human rights lawyer. There’s Reni Eddo-Lodge, Caroline Criado Perez, Shazia Mirza; the list goes on.Featuring interviews with the women themselves, this refreshing compendium of fearless ladies is a fortifying tonic, reviving the stories of women lost to history and cheering on those who will lead the way to a more equal tomorrow.


Yasmin Alibhai-Brown was exiled from her birthplace, Uganda, in 1972is a journalist, broadcaster, author and columnist on the I newspaper and Sunday Times magazine. She has written for the Guardian, Observer, Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, New York Times, Time Magazine and other publications She has won several awards including the Orwell prize for political writing and in 2017, National Press Awards columnist of the year prize. She was specially commended for this award again in 2018. She is a part time professor of journalism at Middlesex University and was governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company. For ten years She was co-chair of major Imperial College/Health Trust research project headed by Lord Ara Darzai on patient safety. She is a national and international public speaker, a consultant on diversity and inclusion and trustee of various arts organisations. She is co-founder of the charity British Muslims for Secular Democracy. Their new report The Inner Lives of Troubled Young Muslims will be out in September 2020. Her recent books include Refusing the Veil, Exotic England about England’s infatuation with the east. She is currently directing a programme of research into the well-being of troubled young Muslims. She has twice been voted the 10th most influential Asian in Britain. Her new polemic, Her last book was Defence of Political Correctness. Her new book, out in September is titled Ladies Who Punch. She has eight Hon degrees and sits on the boards of arts organisations. She is also a keen cook and theatre buff.

Nyla Levy is a Playwright and Actor. Being mixed race, Pakistani and Canadian, with Muslim and Jewish heritage, and born and bred in London - Nyla has always gravitated towards stories that explore experiences related to identity, culture and race. Nyla began in verbatim, with her first play Different is Dangerous (Amnesty International Freedom of Expression longlist nominee), followed by Normal with a bit of Oomph! And most recently Does My Bomb Look Big in This? Co-produced by Tamasha, which toured the UK including Soho Theatre and schools. Nyla is part of Soho Theatres ‘Soho 6’, where she is developing her next play. Nyla is currently writing episodes for two popular tv shows, whilst developing her original ideas for screen too.


This event is part of the Virtual SOAS Festival of Ideas, a week-long series of virtual events. The festival includes: panel discussions, student led installations, masterclasses, keynote lectures, a public debate for/against on Decolonising Knowledge and a Verbatim performance by Bhuchar Boulevard on ‘Decolonising Not Just a Buzzword’ capturing SOAS conversations about the need to decolonise its imperial mission.

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