Since their first arrival in the UK in 1969, Guyanese-born activists and publishers Jessica and Eric Huntley worked tirelessly to create spaces of Black resistance.
Their archive shows what life was like for Black communities in the 1960s, and also the ways in which the Huntley's trailblazed home-based sites of Black joy through music, culture, art, community organizing and religion were.
This event brings together today’s cultural trailblazers to explore the often untold legacy of Black Homes as akin to community centers in the UK. The panel will explore the Caribbean home in the UK as a community museum, and look at ancestral links to the African continent, reflecting on the continuation of the collective community tradition and the oral storytelling tradition. Participants will listen to newly digitized audio archives of the Huntley's and their publishing house Bogle-L’Ouverture, to consider Black-centered and decolonized cultural production in the arts and literary scene.
SOME GUEST CURATORS
Three main guest curators unpack these archives, bringing together high-profile public figures including academic Kehinde Andrews, online influencer Mikai McDermott and dub poet Mutabaruka, to listen to extracts from the audio archives and relate them to the pressing issues of the day. Themes include exclusion of Black students in education, Black organizing in the UK, and decolonizing language. The events, aimed at 18-34 year olds, will be free of charge and take place online.
Other faces you might notice..
Aliyah Hasinah is a curator, writer & director focused on nuances and the beauty in mundanity of black experiences. Aliyah has previously curated for Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (2017), Eastside Projects (2018), Bald Black Girls’ by Ruth Sutoye (2019), Creative Debuts (2021). In 2021, Aliyah founded the Black Curatorial Labs, a space for virtual and physical experimentation and play within the curatorial realm.
Ife Thompson is an award-nominated UK-based Community organizer, United Nations Fellow, Black History Expert, Barrister and Writer. She curates projects that showcase truthful, intergenerational and accurate narratives of Africa and the African diaspora both globally and locally. She has a particular interest in mapping ways in which Black people have resisted through the maintaining and readapting cultures and customs from the African continent within the diaspora.
Isis Amlak is an arts and cultural curator, production manager, she has worked creative stakeholders in the UK, and internationally. Isis is a writer and a presenter and is passionate about archiving social history and the educational legacy of Afrikan & African-Caribbean writers and publishers. As a poet she performs under the name I Sis and she has a MA in Black British Writing.
Valerie Bloom MBE was born and grew up in Jamaica. She has written several adults’ and children’s poetry books, picture books and novels, and edited various poetry collections. Valerie has presented for the BBC, for radio and television. She performs poetry, runs writing workshops, and conducts teacher training courses worldwide.
Michael McMillan is a London based writer, playwright, artist/curator and academic, of Vincentian migrant heritage. He is best known for the critically acclaimed exhibition, The West Indian Front Room (2005-06), which as The Front Room will be iterated as a permanent 1970s period room at the Museum of the Home from 2021.
Aleema Gray is a Community History Curator at the Museum of London and PhD candidate at Warwick University. Her research is funded by the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies and uncovers a community-engaged history of the Rastafari movement in England. Aleema’s work focuses on documenting Black British history through the perspective of lived experiences. Her practice is driven by a concern for more historically contingent ways of understanding the present, especially in relation to notions of belonging, memory and contested heritage.
Zerritha Brown is a Cultural Producer and Arts Manager with 20 years’ experience in community/participatory arts and large scale events. She led on the production of the Brent 2020 No Bass Like Home digital archive and online festival, capturing the borough's Reggae history through community stories and the 2018 Brent Windrush 70 exhibition, co-produced with the community. A Core Leadership Program Alumni, she is passionate about engagement which effects lasting change.
Mikai McDermott is a digital content creator, business owner and historian with over 2 million YouTube followers. Her research interests include 20th century Caribbean history. She regularly writes and unpacks hidden narratives and stories from the Caribbean islands and images in critical dialogue about whiteness and its intersect on race, beauty and women's politics.
Partners of this Black movement
London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) is one of ten regional hubs across the UK to join the British Library’s Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project (UOSH), funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
This ambitious project is part of the wider Save Our Sounds program, which aims to digitally preserve almost half a million rare and at-risk sound recordings, establish a network of audio preservation centers across the UK and engage more people with the value of sound recordings.
Between 2018 and 2021 LMA aims to digitize and catalogue 5,000 sound recordings, from their audio collections as well as those held at local archives, universities, museums and galleries across the Greater London area. These cover everything from oral histories to world music, academic lectures to urban soundscapes.
If you are interested in black radical creative content, here is a video you wouldn't want to miss.
This event series is focused on the archives of Jessica and Eric Huntley, and is part of long-term and sustained work taking place at LMA to share Black British history through work with schools, community groups and with the general public.
Some interesting links to check out
London Metropolitan Archives (LMA):
Unlocking Our Sound Heritage (UOSH):
Twitter and Instagram: @LdnMetArchives #saveoursounds
Be part of the fun!
Register for a free ticket here: https://black-organising.eventbrite.co.uk
Please note this is a live event and it won’t be subtitled as standard. If you wish to attend and have an accessibility requirement, please email firstname.lastname@example.org in advance or contact Ronke Lawal at 07984 141 169
The hashtag for the event series is #RadicalVoices21. Don't hesitate to use or watch this tag to show and see what happens in live. Please tag #fabafriqmagazine as well; we will love to see your tweets/ grams...
FabAfriq supports our fabulous and blackity black black power and we hope you'll love this beautiful event.