Black Futures: Our Time is Now, IS a call to amplify and celebrate contemporary Black British voices and continue the rally towards racial justice. The season begins this week at Black Cultural Archives New portrait exhibition recognising future leaders in the Black British community Inaugural ‘A Great Day in Brixton’ group photo event in October, to celebrate 40 years since the historic National Convention on Black Art, ushering in the British Black Art Movement Transforming Legacies – a multimedia exhibition to open at the end of the month, highlighting emerging Black artists and reflecting on 40 years since the British Black Art Movement began
Black Cultural Archives (BCA) will launch Black Futures: Our Time is Now, as a season of programming, on the 1st of October to coincide with Black History Month. The season will continue until 31st January. Embodying the message, our time is now, Black Futures Season is an urgent call to recognise the importance of understanding Black history in order to ensure continued momentum towards racial justice and a better future for all. A future where we recognise and support emerging talent in the Black community. The season will include two new exhibitions, an awards ceremony, and a series of powerful events & talks with renowned and emerging figures in the Black community.Focused on the future and empowered by the past, BCA is committed to preserving the history of Black Britain. It is dedicated to amplifying contemporary and future voices in the community and this season, they will accelerate their ongoing mission to highlight inspiring action, movements, and individuals in contemporary society. Why Black Futures season? Because for BCA, Black History is Every Day of the year, and the time is now to use this to propel a better future for us all.
Black Cultural Archives Chair’s 40×40 Future Leaders Awards and exhibition1st – 22nd October
This year the chair of BCA is launching the 40×40 Future Leaders Award. From actors and poets to mathematicians and entrepreneurs, the awards celebrate the incredible and diverse talent that exists in the Black community. 42 individuals will be recognised at the awards. Names include The Black Curriculum founder Lavinya Stennett, actor Nicole Lecky and Bafta nominated director Stewart Kyasimire. Awardees were selected by the think tank, Black Britain and Beyond. Those recognised have been invited to become ambassadors for BCA and play a role in informing how the organisation continues to support and elevate voices from the next generation of Black Britons. The awards are led by the chair of BCA, Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE|DL and Prof Revd Keith Magee from Black Britain and Beyond.
Each person celebrated at the awards, will feature in a new portrait exhibition curated by Sherece Rainford. Newly commissioned photography portraits, taken by Patrick Lewis, will appear in light-box photo frames installed in the gallery at BCA in Brixton. The exhibition opens on 1st October and will continue until October 22nd. Digital poster versions of the exhibition, hosted by Clear Chanel, will be available in regions across the UK.
Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE said: “This is a new era for BCA and with that, we recognise and celebrate new talent in our communities. It is important that we continue to keep the fires of creativity, education, and resilience, through our young talent to light the way for BCA, for the next 40 years. Together with Black Britain and Beyond, I have identified future leaders from a wide variety of industry sectors including arts, culture, and heritage to ensure that the home of Black British Culture is continuously grown and safeguarded for generous to come.”
A Great Day in Brixton Inspired by the iconic 1958 photograph, ‘A Great Day in Harlem’, ‘A Great Day in Brixton’ is a call to gather Black British visual artists for a large group photo moment. Displaying both emerging and well-known artists, this event will mark a time in history and celebrate the artists who exist in the Black community. The people involved will cross over four decades, as the day will also recognise 40 years since the British Black Art Movement began. The official group photograph will be captured by the incredible and renowned photographers Charlie Philips and Eddie Otchere.
40 years since first National Black Art Convention
The 1982 National Black Art Convention inspired the launch of the British Black Arts Movement. It was a radical political art movement born out of anti-racist discourse and feminist critique. The purpose of the movement was to draw attention to issues of race and gender and the politics of representation. Notable individuals to emerge from this movement include Keith Piper, Sonia Boyce, David A. Bailey, Maud Sulter, and more. To celebrate the anniversary of the convention, as well as the legacy and influence of this movement, Black Cultural Archives will be hosting a special group photoshoot event to galvanise, document, and celebrate different generations of Black art
Transforming Legacies exhibition 28th October – 31st January
Following the first exhibition, a new exhibition Transforming Legacies will launch. Curated by Pacheanne Anderson, the exhibition brings together emerging and established artists, and presents a reflection of the last 40 years of Black British art across multiple disciplines including painting, ceramics, film, and performance. Combining the strength of Black artists across decades, the exhibition provides an opportunity to evaluate the way British art history is understood, shared, celebrated, and portrayed.Artworks from the likes of Ajamu Ikwe-Tyehimba, Karis Beaumont and Enam Gbewonyo will feature in the exhibition. Pacheanne is a curator and writer whose practice prioritises the voices and careers of queer Black British and diaspora artists. Their work is centred around equity and diversity outside of institutional frameworks. For Transforming Legacies Pacheanne is focused on using the space to create a dynamic and sensory exhibition that will display art from some of the most talented artists within the Black British art scene.Further information about this exhibition and the Great Day in Brixton will be released later this month.