UKOTA Student Conference 2018 - Film Festival Poster (Cover)

The UK Overseas Territories Association is delighted to announce details of their third Overseas Students conference:

Saturday 3rd November 2018


Natural History Museum (Flett Events Theatre), London.


For more information please email 

The Conference is open to students from all territories that are members of UKOTA. The event presents a great opportunity for students from a wide range of cultures to come together and celebrate their shared histories and distinctiveness at the same time. The theme of the 2018 conference is ‘Identity’, something that resonates strongly amongst the Overseas Territories. At a time of change in the UK with the imminent departure from the European Union, both the UK and its Overseas Territories are reflecting upon their historic ties and cultural identity.

Students have been invited to produce a short film depicting their homeland, under the broad theme of ‘Identity’. Films will be shown at the conference in the Flett Events Theatre as part of an Overseas Territories film festival, and judged by the political and cultural geography academics Dr Alastair Pinkerton (University of London) and Dr Matt Benwell (Newcastle University). The academics will then use their Overseas Territory specialist knowledge to lead a discussion on the themes coming out of the students’ original film work.

The Natural History Museum hosts will also be fielding speakers to highlight the vast range of exhibits and specimens held at the museum from UK Overseas Territories across the globe. Students will get the opportunity to tour the museum to see artefacts relating to their various Overseas Territories. Botanists from the museum will aim to draw the analogy with UK Overseas Territories students, by identifying seemingly different and unique flora and fauna from across the territories yet related to one another through the same genetic classification.

The current UKOTA Chair Eric Bush, Cayman Islands Representative in the UK said: “We are delighted to be holding the important UKOTA students conference, where the future generation of Overseas Territory citizens get to meet, interact and share areas of common interest and celebrate differences. We are particularly grateful to the prestigious Natural History Museum for generously hosting the event. The museum offers both fantastic facilities and a genuine insight into the various Overseas Territories, seen through the enormous collection of exhibits gathered from around the globe.

Dr Mark Carine, Principal Curator in Charge of the Algae, Fungi and Plants Division remarked: “We are very pleased and excited to be working with the UK Overseas Territories and their students and to have the opportunity to discuss the huge and important collections gathered from around the world over the centuries. We are also keen to highlight the on-going modern day scientific work still taking place in the Overseas Territories, with current Natural History Museum staff and academics. We hope that the students gain a wider understanding of their endemic flora and fauna and their importance in global biodiversity and to their own cultural identity”.


Dr Matt Benwell

Matthew Benwell has a PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London and is currently a Lecturer in Human Geography at Newcastle University. He is political geographer with interests in critical and feminist geopolitics and, more specifically, his research explores how geopolitical events are engaged and experienced by children and young people in their everyday lives. He has regional specialisms in the Southern Cone (predominantly Argentina, Chile and the Falklands Islands) and Antarctica and has a particular interest in the practices and performances of governance and diplomacy by (young) citizens and states-people in British Overseas Territories such as the Falklands and Gibraltar.

“I’m really excited to be involved in the conference as it provides a unique and rare

opportunity to listen to the perspectives of young people from the diverse range of British OTs in an iconic setting like the Natural History Museum.”

Dr Al Pinkerton

Dr Alasdair Pinkerton is a Reader in Geopolitics at Royal Holloway University of London. When not teaching political geography, Alasdair’s research explores the relationship between popular culture, heritage and geopolitics. He has developed a particular interest in ‘citizen diplomacy’ in the context of the Commonwealth, and British Overseas Territories. Alasdair’s new book, Radio: making waves in sound, will be published in Spring 2019. You can follow him on Twitter: @alpinkerton

“I am incredibly excited to be taking part in the 2018 Overseas Territories conference, and to have the opportunity to meet and work with young people from across the UK Overseas Territories – the people who will shape the future of the OT’s and ‘global Britain’ for decades to come.”


Mark Carine is the Principal Curator in Charge of the Algae, Fungi and Plants Division at The Natural History Museum, London. He is responsible for the six million botanical specimens housed in the Museum’s herbaria, a collection that has been amassed over more than 300 years. Mark has published over seventy scientific papers on a range of topics but he has a particular interest in the unique plant diversity of islands and how that diversity has evolution.


FASHION – Jawara Alleyne

Award winning Fashion Designer and artist from Jamaica and the Cayman Islands Jawara Alleyne has developed his handwriting through examining topics of cultural relevance while pushing these topics through a tunnel of contextual and abstract yet relevant references. The delicate balancing of ideas thought of as unrelated and the creation of narratives through the significance and importance of differences is the key element behind Jawara’s ethos.

Having graduated from the London College of Fashion in 2016, Jawara has since co-founded Nii Agency (a model agency in London dedicated to diversity) with photographer and collaborator, Campbell Addy.