Professional Perspectives: Arike Oke (British Film Institute)

A conversation with Arike Oke (Executive Director of Knowledge and Collections at the British Film Institute) and Rheima Ibrahiim-Robinson (Poet, Educator and Cultural Curator).

Please join us for a conversation with Arike Oke (Executive Director of Knowledge and Collections at the British Film Institute) and Rheima Ibrahiim-Robinson (Event Coordinator at the British Film Institute) as part of the University of Leeds’ School of Performance and Cultural Industries Professional Perspectives event series.

Arike will be speaking both about her own professional development and reflecting with Rheima on cinema and literary cultures.

This event will take place on Zoom. To attend the event, please sign up via Eventbrite


Arike Oke is a noted cultural leader, a registered archivist, a curator and museology consultant. She is Executive Director of Knowledge and Collections at the British Film Institute. Her practice is rooted in social justice and the role of culture in giving strength to, and inspiring, individuals and communities. Formerly she was the Managing Director for Black Cultural Archives, the home of Black British history. Formerly Co-Chair of the Association of Performing Arts Collections, she advises the National Archives, BAFTA, and was a member of the Home Office's Windrush Working Group. She is a Group Board member at Notting Hill Genesis, and is a fellow of the Arts Council’s Museums and Resilient Leadership programme. 

She’s worked in heritage for over 15 years, from the seminal Connecting Histories project in Birmingham, to developing Wellcome Collection’s archive, and co-convening Hull’s first official Black History Month. Her interest in supporting the sector includes assessing funding applications for Wellcome, the Royal Society and the National Archives, assessing impact for REF and judging the 2022 Write on Art Prize. Her fiction is published in magazines and anthologies. Her critical art writing has been featured in The Girls Are and This is Tomorrow. Her academic writing has appeared in journals. She has written an anti-racism book for children which is to be published in 2022. 

Rheima Ibrahiim-Robinson is a poet, educator and cultural curator based in London. Born and raised in Leeds, Rheima started writing with Leeds Young Authors, a community-based poetry and performance group. Since then, Rheima has continued to write, perform and facilitate creative writing workshops throughout Yorkshire and worldwide. She is the Founding Director of The Sunday Practise (TSP), a creative hub and poetry event with its roots in Leeds, UK. It was with TSP that Rheima found her feet in producing and curating artistic events. She has an MA in Audiences, Engagement & Participation from the University of Leeds. 

As a poet and speaker, Rheima has appeared nationally and internationally, including The Chicago Theatre, The Nuyorican Cafe (NYC), The Historic Hampton House (Miami), and the UK House of Lords. Her poetry can often be heard across different media outlets, including BBC Radio Leeds, BBC1xtra and work living on BBC iPlayer. Rheima features in the award-winning documentary 'We Are Poets' and more recently on BBC Four's Rhyme and Reason hosted by Lemn Sissay OBE. She was one of the BBC's Words First 2020 finalists. Her newly commissioned film with New Creatives, supported by BBC Arts, is pending release. Celebrated by ITV News for International Women's day 2021, Rheima was also Ilkley Literature Festivals 2021 Apprentice Poet in Residence. She is currently working as an Events Coordinator with the British Film Institute. 

Professional Perspectives is an event series organised by the School of Performance and Cultural Industries. The School of Performance and Cultural Industries creates new knowledge through the lens of performance, within the context of the arts and cultural industries. We investigate the creation of cultural artefacts, movements and events, exploring how cultural activity changes the lives of artists, audiences and people in the wider world. Through performance we develop understanding about creativity and cultural activity, how it is applied in our everyday lives and its power to drive change.