Why have the imaginaries of the English rural often ignored black presences, and how can engagement with archives illuminate these histories?
Using Elsa James’ project Forgotten Black Essex as a starting point, this event brings together artists and academics to explore these questions and multicultural Britain before the Windrush.
Elsa James, Caroline Bressey and Ingrid Pollard will present their work, culminating in a panel discussion chaired by Gemma Romain and audience Q&A.
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Elsa James is a visual artist, creative activist and producer based in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, who grew up in west London during the 70's and 80's. Her solo practice encompasses lens-based performance, language and text, and recently the use of aural and the archive to explore the regionality of race; black subjectivity and the historical, temporal and spatial dimensions of what it means to be black. She often positions herself at the centre of her work. In her current work, she embodies two historical place-specific narratives of two overlooked black Essex women.
Her collaborative practice often involves responding to critical social issues and community concerns across Essex. Recent work includes a six-month research commission for a local grassroots activist group exposing the current provision and needs of asylum seekers, failed asylum seekers and refugees living in Southend. Her current work with the activist collective, the Essex Girls Liberation Front, aims to rebrand the Essex Girl by campaigning to change the definition of the stereotype and challenge prejudice about what it means to be an Essex Girl.
11am - 6pm
11am - 6pm
11am - 9pm
11am - 6pm
12 noon - 6pm
T: 020 7749 1240
Images: Elsa James, Hester Woodley, St Mary's Little Parndon Church, Harlow, Essex. Photo: Amaal Said
Autograph is a place to see things differently. Since 1988, we have championed photography that explores issues of race, identity, representation, human rights and social justice, sharing how photographs reflect lived experiences and shape our understanding of ourselves and others.Donate Join our mailing list