'What’s Culture Got Do With It? Reintroducing Policing as a Cultural Institution ' Talk by Dr. Lambros Fatsis (University of Brighton)
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Policing is conventionally understood and mythologised as a crime-fighting institution that exists to ensure public safety. Contrary to such rosy, misleading and factually inaccurate portrayals of what policing is and does, this presentation approaches the historical mission and function of policing as fundamentally cultural. Drawing on a political understanding of culture, policing will be reintroduced as an instrument for suppressing Black cultural expression throughout the African diaspora, from the era of colonial slavery to the present day. Such rethinking of policing as a governing logic of state-sanctioned, racial(ised) criminalisation, encourages a decolonial approach to police scholarship and recasts the police as guardians of a social and political order that is marked by racial hierarchies, whose roots lie in the imperial-colonial ideology that created racism, “race” and policing in the first place.
Lambros Fatsis is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Brighton. His research focuses on police racism and the criminalisation of Black music (sub)culture(s), fusing Cultural Criminology with Black radical thought. His writing on the policing of UK drill music won the first-ever Blogger of the Year Award from the British Society of Criminology and an Outstanding Research & Enterprise Impact Award from the University of Brighton. Lambros is also a member of the Prosecuting Rap Expert Network, made up of scholars and experts in rap and Black youth culture who act as defence experts in court cases that involve the use of rap as evidence.