Liz Fekete is the Director of the Institute of Race Relations and head of its European research program. She has worked with the Institute since 1982 and specializes in contemporary racism, refugee rights, far-right extremism and Islamophobia across Europe. She is advisory editor of the Institute’s journal Race & Class and is the author of A Suitable Enemy: Racism, Migration and Islamophobia in Europe and Europe’s Fault Lines: Racism and the Rise of the Right. We discuss her nearly 40 years working for the UK’s leading race relations educational charity, her mentorship under the late and great A Sivanandan and how the anti-racism movement here in the UK has changed since the 1980s. Importantly, she provides some necessary historical and sociopolitical context for our current moment, including how the rise of the far-right in Europe over the last 30 years has made our communities more vulnerable to Covid-19 today.
This conversation forms part of a special series funded by the European Cultural Foundation and exploring queer Black solidarity across Europe during Covid-19.