Kunle Olulode

Director of ‘Voice4Change’  – Film Buff and Historian

By Rob Burns

Kunle Olulode is a pro-immigration activist and Director of the umbrella charity Voice4Change England. Voice4Change is a BME charity and support body. Its members number over 460 black and minority community organisations and charities covering everything from education, social enterprise, criminal justice, race discrimination to migrant rights.

Currently it is working with a host of leading campaigning and research organisation such as the Runnymede Trust, the Joseph Rowntree Community Trust and Migrant Rights Network, looking at the media framing of the discourse on diversity, race and inclusion within contemporary political debates.

Olulode believes it’s time to develop a new narrative around race equality away from deficit models. Working in a sector that eats, sleeps and breathes identity politics, he is acutely aware of how a lack of diversity in thought is crippling serious debate on social policy issues including Brexit. More recently, he worked with Catholics for Choice and a range of African civil society organisations, thinkers and politicians in exploring issues of secularism, burkini bans and what a 21st Century ‘African Enlightenment’ might look like.

In support of the ‘Migration Museum’ he said:

“economic hardship, the struggle for opportunity and the demand for equal rights have been central to the migration narrative. But this story is also bursting with creativity, joy, resilience and an unquenchable desire for individual and collective self-improvement”, adding “an institution which aims to capture this experience should be celebrated as a national reference point. That’s what I hope the Migration Museum will be for people of all backgrounds”.

Kunle Olulode also has a long-standing interest in arts development. He was the creative director of the Anglo-Spanish arts group Rebop Productions which, for over 20 years plus, was involved in the seed development of a whole host of British and American musicians connected to artists such as Amy Winehouse, Neneh Cherry and Hip-Hop heads, The Roots. His time in Catalonia also included the founding of the legendary WTF Jam sessions at the Jamboree Club Barcelona.

A keen film buff and film historian, he is known for his ground-breaking work on jazz and modernism in art, presented as part of the Miro season at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2012. He is part of South Bank’s BFI’s African Odyssey programming board responsible for last 2018’s Black and Banned Season; which examined censorship in black film, art and sport. He has high hopes for director Julius Amedume’s 2019 film ‘Rattlesnakes’, the first thriller to capture well the transatlantic neuroses on race chipping away at contemporary society here and the US.

Kunle is a regular contributor to Radio London, Al Jazeera, Sky and RT on debates relating to politics the arts, diversity and race.

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