For years, students and staff at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) have been active voices in debates about ‘Decolonising History’ – what it means in practice, and if it is even possible.

Inspired in part by SOAS’s own uncomfortable past as a training college for officers of the British Empire, SOAS History department hosted five Tamasha playwrights on an access-all-areas basis.

These five thrilling audio dramas reflect what they found. Exploring issues from politicised teaching, to the legacy of trauma, to the joys of discovering uncelebrated historical figures, these five plays showcase the power of drama to unpack big ideas in a human and relatable way.

The dramas will be played to a live audience at four ‘gathered listening’ events in theatres and cultural spaces across the UK, starting with a world premiere at SOAS (London) on 8 October.

Accompanying the playback will be panel debates involving SOAS staff, students and playwrights – your opportunity to ask questions about the journey they have been on together, and about this fascinating subject.

Illustration by Erin Aniker


The discipline of History as we know it today is a product of the age of European empire. This has had profound consequences for our understanding of where ‘history’ happens and who shapes it.
Dr Eleanor Newbigin, SOAS University of London

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