‘Until Then’: A lecture by Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley

We live in a time of many crises, wars, and climate change and are still actively dealing with the aftermaths of a history that has not properly been addressed or apologised for. There is much healing to be done while also fighting for justice in the present, which is future history being made. This will require all of us to work then, and we must not rest until then. 

 

This is the fundamentals of the prime minister’s lecture to a fully packed theater at LSE on the 6th of December. It was almost two hours, but the time flew, and it felt like there was still so much to be discussed. The PM started by talking about the impact of Barbados on the Transatlantic slave trade for four centuries after it was first codified in Barbados’ legislation, talking about how there is so much healing still to do and reparations that the global West has not even made a dent into. It was delivered in tandem with Esther Phillips, Barbados poet laureate, who performed poems to emphasise the piercing facts and humane action that Mia Amor Mottley envisioned was needed. 

 

I thought it was incredible that art was the chosen form for a politician to stand her vision on; it was a perfect example of how art and activism are often interlinked, and based on how awestruck everybody in the room was, it also proves how effective it is. The PM was definitely trying to call for action amongst the people in the room and, perhaps at large, Britain as a whole… there were the likes of the CEO of Oxfam, industry-leading academics, thinkers, journalists and future leaders sitting in that room. The PM is clearly a diplomat and wants to instil radical hope, wanting to work with foreign bodies, economic systems and the favour of ordinary people to bring about larger themes of change and healing moving forward while never forgetting the past because we have to speak about it and we must all talk about. It wasn’t just about acting in the interest of Barbados; it was about acting in the interest of the earth and the future of civilisation. 

 

There were critical questions from the audience, and I felt they were addressed fairly with both facts and the personal experiences of one of the youngest persons ever to be assigned a ministerial portfolio. 

 

There is much to cover, and so many powerful quotes; to list them all would simply be creating a transcript. So instead, I wanted to share that this lecture is available as a podcast through LSE: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/lse-public-lectures-and-events/id279428154 and also available on Youtube: https://www.lse.ac.uk/Events/2023/12/202312061730/conversation





Written by

Pavani konda

Freelance social media manager and YSC (Youth Steering Committee)  member since 2022.