Award-winning hip-hop artist and writer Akala joins Michael Mohammed Ahmad in conversation about his bestselling debut, Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire, a searing, modern polemic on race and class in the British Empire. He reflects on growing up poor, mixed-race and politicised in Britain during the 1980s and 90s, widening his experiences into a nuanced historical treatise that demonstrates why The Guardian has lauded his as “the kind of disruptive, aggressive intellect that a new generation is closely watching”.

Supported by the British Council.

Akala (International)


Akala is a BAFTA and MOBO Award-winning hip-hop artist, writer and social entrepreneur, as well as the co-founder of The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company. He is also known for his compelling lectures and journalism - he has written for The Guardian, Huffington Post and The Independent, and spoken for the Oxford Union and TEDx. His Sunday Times bestseller Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire is a searing polemic, covering everything from the police, education and identity to politics, sexual objectification and the far right, speaking directly to British denial and squeamishness when it comes to confronting issues of race and class that are at the heart of the legacy of Britain's racialised empire.

Michael Mohammed Ahmad (Australian)

Michael Mohammed Ahmad

Dr Michael Mohammed Ahmad is the founder and director of Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement. His debut novel The Tribe received the 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelists of the Year Award. He latest novel is The Lebs.