14 Jul 2021 / 17:30-19:30 BST (Networking from 17:00)
Online (Airmeet)


K BiswasLeah Cowan, and Selina Nwulu discuss popular culture in Britain and its potential role in accelerating social change and highlighting structural inequality.

Youth led movements – against racism and sexism, for LGBTQ+ and disability rights or environmental sustainability ‐ feel locked out of elite political and economic circles, and see culture as their site of expression. A new wave of radical pop-cultural expression, dormant for much of the 21st century, may have emerged in film & television, music & fashion, gaming and social media campaigns. Under discussion will be Britain’s belated public reckoning with racism in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and the emerging counter-reaction crystallised in a new Culture War.


Hosted by Counterpoints Arts‘ PopChange Initiative, this is the first of five PopChange Salons in 2021 exploring the opportunities for real change presented within the New Brave world Report (2021). The Salon Series will explore racial justice, comedy, TV, gaming and narrative change.


Recommended background reading

New Brave World a new report by Alice Sachrajda and Marzena Zukowska that explores the power, opportunities and potential of pop culture for social change in the UK. The report is supported by Unbound Philanthropy and builds on Riding the Waves, a scoping study on the same theme published in 2017.

Representology (Vol. 2), a journal for research and best practice in how to make UK media more representative of all sections of society, edited by K Biswas. The recently published issue features articles by Lenny Henry and director Amma Asante talking about sharing power on-screen & being allowed to fail; Gary Younge on working as a Black journalist at The Guardian and Afua Hirsch’s experiences starting out at The Voice newspaper, amongst others.


We’re thrilled to be welcoming such an exciting range of participants and speakers, and invite you to join us in using the Airmeet platform to make new connections during the networking, sessions. Airmeet is best experienced on a Chrome browser (version 79 or higher), on a laptop or a desktop. You can download the latest version here.

If you’d like to familiarise yourself with Airmeet before the session, you can do so via this link.


Some sections of the programme will be live streamed, but only participants who choose to go ‘on stage’ will be visible. Presentations by speakers (but not the Q&A sections) will also be filmed and shared online.


We’d love you to join the conversation online using the hashtag #popxchange or via our social media channels: Twitter // Instagram // Facebook


14 Jul 2021
17:30-19:30 BST (Networking from 17:00)

Online (Airmeet)