Heritage Mix 29 May 2018


Dear Black Europe Resources Reader,

Influenced by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s recent wedding, this issue of the Black & Asian Heritage Mix invites you to read three articles relating to family history and consider how difficult it can be for some of us to trace our ancestry through the fog of history…

The resources on museums and heritage sites are concerned with the diversity challenge in the sector: it ranges from articles exploring the pervasiveness of European colonial history to news items focusing on the preservation of artefacts and memory sites in a way that remains inclusive and open to all. It has to be hoped that a new form of imperialism or “digital colonialism” will not occur with the privatisation and marketisation of heritage in the foreseeable future.

 As usual, the final section of this newsletter invites you to engage with events that challenge eurocentricism and discrimination through talks, art, exhibitions and theatre. There is also a special Windrush events extra in honour of the Windrush generation who has contributed so much to Britain over the last 70 years. You can find it here.

Thushari Perera


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family tree 

Five Things to Know About Queen Charlotte

(The Smithsonian, 30 November 2017)

 “Before Meghan Markle, the late 18th-century Queen Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz may have been the country’s first biracial royal”

Read more here

Did Queen Victoria Really Adopt an Orphaned African Princess?

Sarah Forbes Bonetta

(Mental Floss, 13 April 2018)

“In 1850, a young naval captain named Frederick E. Forbes arrived in the African kingdom of Dahomey (today’s Benin) to see the powerful monarch King Ghezo on an antislavery mission from the British Empire. As was standard for meetings of dignitaries, gifts were exchanged. Among those given to Forbes—as a formal offering to Queen Victoria—was a 7-year-old girl…”

Read more here

Searching Through The Fog of History, This Man Helps Trinidad Families Trace Their Indian Roots

(Scroll.in, 5 March 2018)

“It’s 1 am in Trinidad and Shamshu Deen, a Trinidadian of Indian descent, is busy joining the missing links of a family tree…”

Read more here



 Should UK Museums Be More Radical About Diversifying Collections?

(Museums association, 16 May 2018)

“A debate has sprung up among museum professionals over the decision by the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) to deaccession artworks by white male artists and use the funds raised to acquire more art by women and people of colour…”

Read more here 

 Troubled Exhibits: 5 Disputed Museum Treasures

(ABS-CBN News, 27 May 2018)

“Europe’s museums are full of items taken from Africa during colonization, but many other objects on their shelves also carry an uncomfortable history. Here are five examples of historic artifacts which have caused bitter ownership spats between nations…”

Read more here


Heritage Sites

 India’s Monuments Need All The Help They Can Get. Are Private Companies The Answer?

(Quartz India, 2 May 2018)

“For perhaps the first time ever, heritage conservation is a trending topic in India. Many are aghast that cement maker Dalmia Bharat has been tapped to take over the management of the Mughal-era Red Fort in New Delhi…”

Read more here

3D Scans Help Preserve History, But Who Should Own Them?

(NPR, 21 May 2018)

“War, natural disasters and climate change are destroying some of the world’s most precious cultural sites. Google is trying to help preserve these archaeological wonders by allowing users access to 3D images of these treasures through its site. But the project is raising questions about Google’s motivations and about who should own the digital copyrights. Some critics call it a form of “digital colonialism…”

Read more here

Berlin To Change Street Names Over Brutal African Colonial Past

(The Citizen, 12 April 2018)

Berlin is poised to strip the names of streets linked to atrocities committed during its occupation of Namibia and dedicate them to liberation fighters, part of a late reckoning with Germany’s brutal colonial history in Africa…

Read more here



Ode To Whiteness: British Poetry Scene Fails Diversity Test

(The Guardian, 24 May 2018)

“The British poetry world is “failing to meet even the most basic measurements of inclusivity”, according to a new report which highlights the “systemic exclusion” of poets and critics of colour from UK and Irish poetry magazines…”

Read more here



 ‘I Was Capturing Living History’: Jim Grover On His Photographs of South London’s Windrushers

(The Observer, 5 May 2018)

“For a year, photographer Jim Grover immersed himself in the world of south London’s Windrush generation – at home, in church and at the domino club. Amid the furore surrounding the mistreatment of Caribbean-born British citizens by the Home Office appears an exhibition, Windrush: Portrait of a Generation, to be shown in central London, just across the water from Westminster.”

Read more here




2 June 2018

London Radical Bookfair 2018

London Radical Bookfair

(Goldsmiths University, London)

“With over 130 exhibitors and 20 guest speakers, this will be a unique gathering of progressive readers, thinkers and doers, in a celebration of radical publishing and politics. The free event is organised by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB), which formed in 2011 to raise awareness of the radical book trade…”

Find out more here

8 June 2018 – 14 October 2018

Splendours of the Subcontinent Queens Gallery

Exhibition: Splendours of the Subcontinent

(Buckingham Palace, London)

“Splendours of the Subcontinent includes two exhibitions celebrating South Asian treasures in the Royal Collection: A Prince’s Tour of India 1875-6 & Four Centuries of South Asian Paintings and Manuscripts”

Find out more here

9 & 10 June 2018

Jaipur Literary Festival

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival

(The British Library, London)

“The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival returns to the British Library for the second time, and its fifth London edition, as a two-day taster of ‘the greatest literary show on Earth’, the extraordinary free festival which takes place in the Pink City of Jaipur, India, every January. A packed programme of talks and performances animate four venues at the Library, celebrating South Asia’s literary heritage, oral and performing arts, books and ideas…”

Find out more here

 BE.BOP 2018


“The fifth edition of BE.BOP 2018. BLACK EUROPE BODY POLITICS. COALITIONS FACING WHITE INNOCENCE tackles once again central questions on Black European citizenship within global affairs. By incorporating a variety of disciplines and approaches – art, science, film, performance, activism – BE.BOPdirectly confronts colonial legacies and continuities with artistic strategies that enable the retelling of such violent histories. Grounded in the contributions of Decolonial Aesthetics, this year’s edition takes up the concept of “White Innocence”, coined by influential Caribbean Diaspora thinker Gloria Wekker in order to make visible the continuing inequalities caused by colonial modernity.”

12 June 2018

Be.Bop 2018 – Black Europe Body Politics Coalitions Facing White Innocence

(Autograph, London)

Find out more here

13 June 2018

Talk: Walter Mignolo On Decoloniality

(Tate Britain, London)

Find out more here

Please note that these events have no direct link with “Black Europe Resources”.

Until 16 June 2018

Eddy Kamuanga Fragile Responsability

Exhibition: ‘Fragile Responsibility’ Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga

(October Gallery, Bloomsbury, London)

“Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1991, Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga studied painting at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Kinshasa… In his work, Kamuanga Ilunga explores the seismic shifts in the economic, political and social identity of the DRC that have taken place since colonialism…”

Find out more here

4-16 June 2018

Ignatius Sancho

Theatre: Sancho – An Act of Remembrance

(Wilton’s Music Hall, London)

 “Born on a slave ship, educated in secret, he became a composer, actor, anti-slavery campaigner, and the first Afro-Briton to vote in a British general election. Sancho’s story casts new light on the often misunderstood narratives of the African-British experience…”

Find out more here

18-22 June 2018

Caribbean Comedy Week

Caribbean Comedy Week

(The British Library, London)

“Join established acts and future stars for this week-long mini-festival. The line-up features Dane Baptiste, Felicity Ethnic, Glenda Jaxson, Marlon Davis, Kane Brown, Athena Kugblenu, Annette Fagan, Wayne ‘Dibb’i Rollins, Donna Spence, Aurie Styla and Quincy. The week is hosted by the cool, charming and conscious Mr Cee, who has performed at various venues from The Hackney Empire and The Comedy Store to Jongleurs and Highlight. He has also supported some of the top names in comedy – Dick Gregory, Paul Mooney, Felix Dexter, Gina Yashere, Curtis Walker, Angie LeMar – on their UK Tours. Doors open at 19.00. Shows start at 19.30. These events are suitable for those aged 16+. In association with EnterTrainMents

Find out more here

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