Hey Guys hope your all well, so i went to see the exhibition Staying Power at The Victoria and Albert museum. The exhibition, as described on the V&A, presents Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s- 1990s. A project 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 sociality, as well as the art of photography.
So i thought perfect, its about time my parents and my grandparents story was told in art. A visual map of every cultures contribution to british society is what id love inevitably, but this is a start.
The corridor of an exhibition that i was presented with, was to say the least … underwhelming. Then only to discover that half the pictures were taken in America, by american photographers. The british photographs that are presented ,are in fact very interesting. Showing a beautiful insight into interracial couples in the early 60’s and 70’s, on fashion in the 80’s and 90’s and the female contribution to forces and public relations. But the lack of British work, clearly showed that this history clearly cannot stand tall without the solid foundation of Black American history. The gift shop had only one book and one copy for souvenir.
Personally I find that resources of black history can be sole dependent on American History, last year alone there were countless films presented all on Black American History. Which is fantastic, these films should be celebrated, but is the black british population adopting someone else’s past, in lack of knowledge of there own? Does any minority in the UK feel fully represented in Art ?
Personally I feel that art (photography, music, theatre, television, fashion) is completely undervalued in Britain. Art is a mirror. Everything that happens in politics and society is clearly shown, and is reflected back into the public. So then it becomes a cycle. How do we break the cycle ? Use art and show some positive, to uplift a generation.