“Staying Power”: Photographs of Black British Experience on Exhibit in England Through May

Untitled, circa 1960s, from the portfolio Black Beauty Pageants
Untitled, circa 1960s, from the portfolio Black Beauty Pageants (Photograph: Raphael Albert/Victoria and Albert Museum)

“Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s-1990s” is the culmination of a seven-year collaboration between the Victoria & Albert Museum and Brixton’s Black Cultural Archive to increase the number of black British photographers and images of black Britain in the V&A collection. It aims to raise awareness of the contribution of black Britons to British culture and society, as well as to the art of photography.

Over the last seven years the V&A has been working with Black Cultural Archives to acquire photographs either by black photographers or which document the lives of black people in Britain. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Museum has been able to collect 118 works by 17 artists. To complement the photographs, Black Cultural Archives have collected oral histories from a range of subjects including the photographers themselves, their relatives, and the people depicted in the images.

Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s-1990s is at the Black Cultural Archive (bcaheritage.org.uk) until June 30th and at the Victoria & Albert Museum from February 16th to May 24th (vam.ac.uk).  Some of the images on display follow below:

HD-1469 (Pineapple), 1969
HD-1469 (Pineapple), 1969 (Photograph: The Estate of J. D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere/Victoria and Albert Museum)
Miss Black & Beautiful, circa 1970s
Miss Black & Beautiful, circa 1970s (Photograph: Raphael Albert/Victoria and Albert Museum)
She Rockers (London Rap/Dance Crew), Shepherd’s Bush Green, London, 1988
She Rockers (London Rap/Dance Crew), Shepherd’s Bush Green, London, 1988 (Photograph: Normski/Victoria and Albert Museum)
4 Aces Club, Count Shelley Sound System, Hackney, London, 1974
4 Aces Club, Count Shelley Sound System, Hackney, London, 1974 (Photograph: Dennis Morris/Victoria and Albert Museum)

article via guardian.com; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow@lakinhutcherson)

 

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