On Tuesday 15th November, Shades of Noir attended an event at the House of Commons, courtesy of a book called ‘The Heartstone Odyssey’ by Arvan Kumar. The Heartstone Odyssey is a fantasy that offers its readers “a real contribution towards greater understanding and recognition of the cultures of India and Britain and how they can develop and thrive together.”
The Heartstone Odyssey gave its name to a non-profit organisation (Heartstone) “which aims to build understanding, contact, and communication across different nationalities, cultures, races, faiths and backgrounds and challenge racism, xenophobia, and intolerance.” The event we attended brought MPs, academics, pupils, representatives from the Safer Southwark Neighbourhood Board and the Transport Select Committee to have an important conversation about hate crime in a space as significant as the House of Commons!
The Heartstone Odyssey is being read by primary school students across the nation, the pupils are doing comprehension exercises that allow them to explore and understand the importance of equality and diversity.
The highlight of the event for me was hearing the young boys and girls read work that they had written, and listening to them confidently speaking out against prejudice and racism. They filled the room with hope for the future and the mindset that these young generations must have in order to continue to be the change they wish to see in the world.
A big thank you to Nina Rahel for her work and co-ordination.