The Trust was established by Amartya Sen in order to commemorate the life and work of Eva Colorni, his late wife and the mother of Indrani and Kabir. The Trust was set up after Eva's untimely death in 1985. The Trust's stated aim has been to reflect and further her belief in the possibility of social justice.
Eva had taught economics at the City of London Polytechnic, which evolved into London Guildhall University and is now the City campus of London Metropolitan University. The board of Trustees is made up partly of economists from the university, and partly of representatives of Eva's family (including Amartya), friends and other former colleagues.
The Trust's principal activity has been to award, since 1986, annual bursaries to deserving undergraduate students of economics - coming from a very wide variety of national backgrounds - at London Metropolitan University. The management committee is chaired by Chris Elven, an economist at the university.
The Eva Colorni Memorial Lectures, under the Trust's auspices, began in 1987. They have been held approximately every two years since then.
The first lecture, on "Do Liberty and Equality Conflict?" was given by Ronald Dworkin (academic lawyer). Albert Hirschman (sociologist) spoke on "Two Hundred Years of Reactionary Rhetoric." Eric Hobsbawm (historian) spoke on the theme of "Are All Tongues Equal? : Language, Culture and National Identity." Dorothy Wedderburn (social research) spoke on "The Superiority of Collective Action" and Tony Atkinson (equality research) on "Promise and Performance."
These first five lectures were published in 1996 by Oxford University Press under the title, Living As Equals. This book also included an essay by Amartya on "Social Commitment and Democracy."
Subsequent Memorial Lectures have been given by Jerry Cohen (political theorist; author, inter alia, of If You're an Egalitarian, How Come You're so Rich?), Mary Kaldor (global governance), Meghnad Desai (economist and Labour Party life peer), Anne Phillips (gender politics) and Roy Foster (historian of Ireland).
The 2010 Eva Colorni Memorial Lecture, "Friendship and Poetry," will be given by the novelist and poet, Vikram Seth, at the London School of Economics : at 6.30 pm on Thursday 18 March, in the Sheikh Zayed theatre, New Academic Building.
If you would like to make a donation to the Trust, please send a cheque made payable to the “Eva Colorni Memorial Trust” to
London Metropolitan Business School
London Metropolitan University
London EC2M 6SQ