The eclectic vibes of Chelsea are balanced with the abundance of Art students and Art critics (well self-claimed critics) and the subtle hustle and bustle of commuters. The Tate Britain is home to some of the most accredited pieces of Art work and it is known for its ever-changing exhibitions ranging in several different mediums and eras. It was my first time attending the Tate Britain and I was amazed by the mesmerizing architecture and the mix between hipster art students, tourists and middle aged people who you could tell came from a creative background.
I took a visit to Tate Britain to have a look at the exhibition STAN FIRM INNA INGLAN: BLACK DIASPORA IN LONDON, 1960-70S documenting photography from Black diaspora in London from the 1960s to the 1970s. The pieces were timeless as they captured significant tribulations in the migration of black foreigners and their integration in London. It was great to see that it was not just black people in the room but people from many different cultures were absorbing the silent messages these images were portraying. These exhibitions give people the chance to see London through a different perspective, isn’t that what art is about?, being able to express yourself so a passer-by can interpret the code in their own specific way and take from it what they need to satisfy their soul.
The Photographers whose photography were exhibited were:
Dennis Morris from Dalston best known for his photography of Bob Marley and the Sex pistols. At the age of 11 his photography was printed on the front page of the Daily Mirror. “Dennis was known around his East End neighbourhood as Mad Dennis, due to his preference for photography over football”. His career took off when he use to wait for Bob Marley after his rehearsals at Margaret street in London until one day Bob Marley invited him to be the photographer for the rest of his tour. “His photographs of Marley and The Wailers became famous the world over, appearing on the cover of Time Out and Melody Maker before Dennis had even turned 17”.
Syd Shelton a prominent activist and a unofficial photographer for the Rock against racism movement; a collective of politicians, musicians and artists fighting against racism in London.
Raphael Albert born in Grenada he moved to London in the 1950s to study photography. He became the photographer for a black British newspaper called West Indian World. He was responsible for many Black beauty pageants such as ‘Miss Black and Beautiful’. His photography celebrated Afro-Caribbean beauty and was a voice for women of colour who were absent from mainstream media and fashion photography at the time.
Al Vandenberg born to Dutch parents worked as a creative director for an advertising agency in London, his focus was street photography.
Colin Jones was the photographer for a housing project funded by Islington council established for vulnerable people. The series began as a Sunday times magazine commission and turned into a independent project. His photography are candid shots of everyday life living on the estate.
Bandele Tex Ajetunmobi is a Nigerian born photographer. He settle in spitalfields in East London. He documented night life in London and focused on interracial couples “at a time when sharing one’s life with someone from a different ethnic background was the cause of racial prejudice”.
The exhibition also featured a performance from a spoken word artist who rhymed the flows of life growing up in London as a black person. He tapped into the stereotypes of Jamaicans and his witty humour allowed us to laugh at some of the negative images that the media portray of black people in London. The exhibition made me proud to be the child of Jamaican parents and it also created an opportunity for people from all walks of life to get a taste of black culture in London.
The exhibition will be running until the 19th of November 2017 and Admission is free.