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David Oluwale was a British Nigerian who drowned in the River Aire on 18 April 1969 after being systematically harassed by members of the Leeds City police force. His death was mostly forgotten until police files were released 30 years later.
Led by the David Oluwale Memorial Association, this project will focus on the celebration of Leeds’ diverse heritage by bringing communities together, with a focus on Nigerian and African diaspora in the city. It will highlight the contributions, experiences and challenges of Nigerian and migrant communities.
There will be a community event to unveil the sculpture, Hibiscus Rising, as part of the LEEDS 2023 cultural programme. Other events include an African heritage festival of music, dance, arts and food.
This awesome sculpture by my fellow-Nigerian Yinka Shonibare will engage us all in a conversation about progress in the city.
Cllr Abigail Marshall Katung, Co-chair of the David Oluwale Memorial Association
Digital and physical interpretation will also honour and share the story of David Oluwale.
The project will develop new educational resources for schools and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) workshops for teachers.
Speaking about conversations held during workshops, Cllr Abigail Marshall Katung, Co-chair of the David Oluwale Memorial Association, said: “People said that art alone cannot change the world – but they could see that this awesome sculpture by my fellow Nigerian Yinka Shonibare will engage us all in a conversation about progress in the city.”