Something you should see… Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience, 1950s – 1990s

The recently opened Black Heritage Centre in Brixton now provides a much needed learning and exhibition space for the Black Cultural Archives, established in 1981. The space features a programme of talks, walks and evening music events, as well as a rolling exhibition programme. Staying Power is the first of this exhibition programme, using imagery from the V&A collection and tracing the experiences of Black people in Britain in the second half of the twentieth century.

Taking the title of Peter Fryer’s seminal text as its moniker, this exhibition includes photographic work from iconic practitioners whose photographic journalism recorded the changing cultural landscapes of the time. The exhibition draws on oral histories from the photographers and the wider community to understand where identity and representation collide.

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The breadth of work is impressive and comes from the likes of Dennis Morris – infamous for his work with the Sex Pistols and Bob Marley – Charlie Phillips, best known for his imagery of Notting Hill in the 1960s and the iconic work of self taught Colin Jones who recorded youth culture.

More recent representation of the Black British experience comes from the work of Ingrid Pollard, a photographer and art practitioner whose social practise work focuses on representation, history and landscape with reference to race and Jennie Baptiste whose work explores fashion and style as expressions of black British identity.

The exhibition comes as a wider project spanning five years under the same title, so watch this space for further events. (Words: Laura Thornley)

On until 30 June. For more info visitbcaheritage.org.uk/programme/exhibitions/staying-power/

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