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Between London/Dhaka. The Challenges of Queer space making

As our closing contribution to mark LGBTQ+ History Month, we welcome By-Fellow & Director of Institutional Advancement William Conner ‘in conversation’ with Ruhul Abdin.  Ruhul is an artist, urban researcher and social entrepreneur and runs an architecture studio in both Dhaka and London.

Join them ‘in conversation’ as William, a passionate advocate for gay rights, explores the game changing work Ruhul has been involved in, including the creation of support systems for young queer people marginalised from society (Muslim transgender people, non-binary people, young people in poor health).

A recording of this event is now available. Click here.

Seniors’ Spotlight Series
Our ‘Seniors’ Spotlight Series’ provides accessible, short, conversational insights, in an informal ‘podcast’ type format, that has broad intellectual appeal across the College community. This dynamic and exciting series seeks to uncover what our senior members feel passionate about – intellectually, professionally, personally or philanthropically.

LGBTQ+ History Month
LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer and/or Questioning. The History Month is an annual event, taking place in the UK every February, to increase visibility of the history and experiences of those in the LGBTQ+ community, promoting equality and diversity for all.)

Ruhul Abdin
Ruhul Abdin is an artist, urban researcher, teacher, designer and a proactive member of the queer Bengali diaspora. He studied architecture and urban development planning in London. In collaboration with others, he has run events in both London and Dhaka, focusing on inclusivity for the queer community.

He is the co-founder of Paraa, an architecture, design and research studio based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The studio focuses on architecture, teaching, training and working with diverse vulnerable communities. Ruhul is also co-founder of Oitij-jo, a non-profit based in London focused on celebrating Bangladeshi culture and arts.

Recently, Ruhul has been commissioned as part of a wider National Portrait Gallery project to celebrate Bangladesh’s 50 years of independence with a commemorative piece to be installed in London’s Tower Hamlets. The studio has launched its own sustainable fashion brand, Chol, in Dhaka, that has been celebrating diverse bodies and genders.

William Conner
William J. Conner has over 40 years’ experience in development and as a management consultant in philanthropy. His expertise is in institutional development, strategic planning for large fundraising campaigns, leadership giving, volunteer leadership recruitment and good governance practices. From 2008 he was a Fellow and officer of Wolfson College, University of Oxford where he was the Development Director before joining Hughes Hall as Director of Institutional Advancement in January 2019. He also maintains a thriving multi-national consulting practice, Conner and Associates, based in London and Boston.

Much of his life has been centred around a strong interest in classical music, with a particular interest in 17th and 18th century keyboard music. As an editor of The New Grove Dictionary of Music working with Stanley Sadie in the mid-1970s, he worked on bibliographical problems, instruments and instrument makers. He is currently a trustee of the Handel Hendrix House (London), Pushkin House (London), the London Song Festival, the Voltaire Foundation (Oxford) and the Voces8 Foundation (London). He is also active in environmental issues and is a trustee of Markshall Estate in Essex and manages a family tree farm in New England.

Bill has been active in the gay rights movement since the early 1970s when he was vice president of the University of London Gay Society and has been supportive of and involved with many LGBTQ rights initiatives over the years. He lives in London with his husband.

Accessibility statement
This event will take place on Zoom. It will run straight through for an hour without a break.
There will be live captioning and/or summary notes available during the event.
For accessibility info/queries, please contact an452@cam.ac.uk.