Archives & Access: Stories Uncovered

I’ve been attending the Youth Forum at the Black Cultural
Archives (BCA) for a few months, and we’ve recently been developing a
project in collaboration with the Tate Collective’s Archives &
Access learning outreach programme. The theme of the project is ‘Stories
Uncovered’, and it aims to explore London’s heritage through the eyes
of young people. The programme runs from November 2015 – September 2016,
in which time BCA and five other organisations will host a workshop
exploring themes of local heritage.

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All participating groups attended a day of workshops at
Tate Britain on Saturday 16th April. There I presented the idea we at
BCA have been developing to the organisers and participants of the
programme. We’ve chosen to explore the theme of youth activism, using
the archives at BCA to explore the involvement of young black Londoners
in local politics.

As well as presenting our project, we had the opportunity
to share ideas with the other groups and learned how to effectively run a
workshop by identifying our audience and setting measurable goals and
outcomes. We also had the opportunity to explore the Tate’s physical and
digital archives and identify materials that could help us in our
research.

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Collage: ‘Black in Rural Britain’

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I am very pleased with these images and would like to replicate them in my final series. The notion of locating myself in this white space is accentuated by the layering, with my face appearing from within this uncultivated space. I think I have finally arrived at representing blackness in the rural space, and am pleased with the results. It isn’t overtly polemical, and enables a variety of arguments. I have arranged a site to contest varying discourses of the countryside and racial identity based on academic research and experience. 

Vector Graphics: ‘Angry Black Male’ Modifications

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I’ve been experimenting with some of my earlier works to see how I can take the use of Vector Graphics further in the project. I think the strongest modification here is the colour of the background, and how its contradiction to the figured ‘Angry Black Male’ contrasts with the sharp and harsh black character. 

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Vector Graphics: ‘Angry Black Male’

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‘Angry Black Male’

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These are further attempts to produce representations of black racial identity using Vector Graphics and illustration on Photoshop. This attempt was very successful, building upon ‘La Mamita’. I really like the graphic, graffiti style, and the power that the image contains. Responses to my Vector work has mainly been positive, however it was mentioned how the work should be more polemical and that the audience should be able to locate me more obviously in the work. 

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Vector Graphics: ‘La Mamita’

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‘La Mamita’


I have for a long time wanted to produce images such as these but never quite achieved good enough results. I like the precision that the pen tool in Photoshop can give, especially when creating vector art. I can see how I am beginning to synthesise some of my earlier ideas with differnet processes, extending the allure of the black skin with this augmented figure. It reminds me of the African and Caribbean inspired art works with which I grew up with, and positive affirmations of black identity. The stylization of the images was intended to extend this further, appearing fashionable and beautiful. The crispness of the lines are intended to give a sense of perfection. I need to work on the expression of the character as shes appears melancholic, but again, this was merely experimentation which is helping move my ideas into different and varied areas.

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