Colourism & Photography

Tue 2 Jul 2019 7pm, doors open 6:30pm

£5 / 4

About the Event

Colourism has often been defined as the racial discrimination of individuals based on the tonalities within the colour of their skin

This talk will investigate structural colourism in the history of photographic processes, emphasised through the invention of colour correction cards in the 1950s. These were used by photography labs to calibrate skin tones, shadows and light during the printing process -favouring lighter skin tones, while leaving darker skin tones looking blurred or unidentifiable.

Photographer and activist Angélica Dass will discuss her project Humanae, investigating the chromatic range of human skin tones using a taxonomy adopting the format of the PANTONE® Guide – challenging social classifications of race and colour.

Film and theatre director Nadia Latif will look at how the evolution of cameras and lighting in film have influenced the depiction of black actors, actresses and characters.


Rivington Place



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This event explores themes in Autograph’s current exhibitions Lola Flash: [sur]passing and Maxine Walker: Untitled.

Arrive at 6:30pm for an opportunity to view the Maxine Walker exhibition. The talk will start at 7pm, and take place in Lola Flash’s exhibition in our ground floor gallery. The talk will end with a Q&A with the audience.

About Angélica Dass

Angélica Dass is an award-winning photographer living in Madrid, Spain. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, she is acutely aware of how small differences in skin tone can swell into large misconceptions and stereotypes about race. She is the creator of the internationally acclaimed Humanæ Project, a collection of portraits that reveal the diverse beauty of human colors.
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The initiative has traveled to more than 31 cities, in 18 countries, across six continents —from The World Economic Forum in Davos to the pages of National Geographic — to promote dialogue that challenges how we think about skin color and ethnic identity.

As part of the TED Residency 2018, she presented her new TED talk which was published in October 2018, today, this TED talk has more than two million views. Angélica’s work transcends the museums and finds in school classrooms a great universe of work. She amplifies the educational message of Humanae through institutional collaborations around the world, such as collaborations with city councils of different cities in the Basque Country, teacher training schools in Madrid, highschools in the Czech Republic, or with UNESCO and the Government of Chile, reaching an impact of more than 50 thousand students in a week.

She is also a powerful and inspiring speaker who has lectured at organizations such as the University of Salamanca, the University of Bologna, or the UERJ - Rio de Janeiro; as well as the International Congress of Fundraising - The Resource Alliance, at National Geographic and at the World Economic Forum, as a cultural leader. This career path leads Angélica to fund the Humanae Institute, a non-profit educational platform with the objective to position diversity as a value in the educational process.

About Nadia latif

Nadia is a theatre maker and film director. She trained as a director at RADA under Bill Gaskill.

She works exclusively in new writing, and has worked for buildings & companies including the Almeida, Royal Shakespeare Company, National, Bush, Theatre503 and Arcola.
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Nadia Latif

She recently directed the short horror film White Girl, and is developing a number of feature film and television projects. She also writes articles, often about the intersections of race, gender and popular culture.

She is Associate Director of the Young Vic Theatre.

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It’s lit! How film finally learned to light black skin

Article by Nadia Latif in The Guardian

find out more

"As relevant today as they were two decades ago"

Read about Maxine Walker's exhibition in The Hackney Citizen


Maxine Walker: Untitled

A pioneering artist whose practice focused on representations of black womanhood


Lola Flash: [sur]passing

Flash's series [sur]passing probes the impact of pigmentation on black identity and consciousness

Accessibility at AUTOGRAPH

Everyone is welcome at Autograph. Our building Rivington Place is an accessible space with a step-free entrance at street level, and a lift to all floors. Unisex, accessible toilets are located on all floors.

This event will take place in our second floor gallery, accessible by a lift and stairs. Seating at the talk is not reserved in advance. If you would like to reserve seating to assist with hearing, visual or any other access needs, please contact us before your visit.

Carers receive a free ticket when they accompany the person they care for. Please contact us to book.

Download our Accessibility Guide for detailed access information about our venue and transport. If you would like to discuss your visit, or have any questions, please contact us at or 020 7749 9200

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Autograph's events are popular, and often sell out. We cannot guarantee that tickets will be available on the door, and recommend booking a ticket in advance. If you need to cancel your ticket for any reason, you can receive a refund up to 24 hours before the start of the event. Concessions tickets are available for students, those on low income, and 65+. Seating is not reserved in advance, and is on a first-come first-seated basis. You do not need to bring your paper ticket to the event.


Tickets to this event can be booked on this webpage, on Eventbrite, via the Facebook event, by phoning Autograph at 020 7729 9200, or by emailing Tickets to Autograph's events are only available through Eventbrite, Autograph, and Autograph's Facebook page. Tickets obtained unofficially or resold via social media or other platforms may not be genuine.


Please note that photography and/or filming will take place at this event. Images from this event may be used by Autograph and external press for marketing and promotional use, including: printed and online publicity, social media, press releases, or other use.


Supported using public funding by Arts Council England

Banner image: Angélica Dass, Humanae Project. Page images, from top left: 1) From 'but i cd only whisper', play by Kristiana Rae Colon at the Arcola Theatre. Directed by Nadia Latif. 2) Angélica Dass. 3) Nadia Latif, photograph by Rebecca Reid. 4)Detail from a contact sheet from the series Untitled, 1995. © Maxine Walker, Courtesy of the artist and Autograph, London. 4) Maxine Walker, Untitled, 1997. Courtesy of the artist and Autograph, London. 5) Maxine Walker, Her. From the series Black Beauty, 1991. Courtesy of the artist and Autograph, London. 6) Lola Flash, Dominque [detail], Brooklyn, 2011, from the series [sur]passing. Courtesy of the artist. 7) Rivington Place, home of Autograph. Photograph by Zoe Maxwell.