Published:  01:51 AM, 30 April 2021

Film screening and panel discussion to mark Altab Ali Day

Film screening and panel discussion to mark Altab Ali Day

Residents, community leaders, faith groups and voluntary organisations are invited to a virtual event to commemorate the life of Altab Ali, who was killed in a racist attack in 1978.

Tower Hamlets Council will host a virtual film screening and live online panel discussion and Q&A session from 6 – 7.15pm on Tuesday 4 May.

Altab, a 25-year old garment factory worker had recently arrived in the UK from Bangladesh. He was returning home from work in nearby Brick Lane when he was fatally stabbed in a park in Whitechapel that now bears his name.

His racially motivated killing mobilised communities in Tower Hamlets to take a united stand against hatred and intolerance and marked a significant turning point in east London’s race relations.

Judith St. John, Divisional Director Sports, Leisure & Culture, Tower Hamlets Council, said: “Altab Ali’s terrible murder was the stimulus for a mass anti-racist movement in Tower Hamlets and beyond. The anniversary of the tragic incident, is a reminder of how important it is to take a stand against all forms of hate and intolerance and the need for our communities to come together to oppose racism.”

Altab Ali and the Battle of Brick Lane is a poignant animated film made in partnership with Loughborough University’s Migrant Memories and the Post-colonial Imagination project and directed by doctoral researcher Diwas Bisht. Young people who were inspired by their research to share the story of the senseless attack which marked a turning point in east London’s race relations, led the animation.

A virtual screening of the film will be followed by a panel discussion and live Q & A with those who were involved in making the animation. Panel members will include: Ansar Ahmed Ullah of the Altab Ali Foundation; Diwas Bisht, director of Altab Ali and the Battle of Brick Lane; Dr Halima Begum, chief executive of independent race equality organisation Runnymede Trust; Shah Yusuf Ahmed, a youth participant and Julie Begum of Bengali community organisation Swadhinata Trust.

Ansar Ahmed Ullah of the Altab Ali Foundation said: “As we approach the 43rd anniversary of the fatal stabbing of Altab Ali and as we remember the anti-racist struggles of the 1970s, it’s a reminder for our diverse communities in Tower Hamlets to remain united and vigilant against any form of extremism that aims to divide us.”

Tickets to the virtual event are free but limited. Please book your place on Eventbrite at

Earlier this year, the council announced plans to name a new block of flats in Wapping Altab Ali House. Construction is underway and is due for completion by early 2022.

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