ARTS

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Racial inequality in art education, Freelands Foundation, 2021

“Freelands Foundation and Runnymede Trust announce a ground-breaking partnership to deliver the first major research commission into access to the visual arts for Black, Asian and ethnically diverse students in the UK. The report will be published in Autumn 2022…”

Billboard art project sparks conversations on racism, Hackey Gazette, 23 March 2021

“Graphic designer Greg Bunbury has collaborated with outdoor media agency Brotherhood Media on the Black Outdoor Art initiative. The project involves plastering original art by Black artists on billboards across Hackney and the rest of the capital.”

British Asian Sacha Jafri’s painting raises £45m for children’s charities, Eastern Eye, 24 March 2021

“The painting, titled “The Journey of Humanity”, was sold in Dubai on Monday (22), and in September, the Guinness World Records recognised it as the largest ever art canvas.”

TL becomes first London conservatoire to partner with Black Lives in Music, Trinity Laban, 19 March 2021

“The ongoing relationship will work to actively improve the experience of young people of African and Caribbean heritages within jazz and classical music.”

 

The Black Potters Giving New Life to British Ceramics, The New York Times, 17 March 2021

“A growing community of makers are creating work that reflects their identities and challenges the history of their art form in the U.K.”

LIBRARIES

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The Government is Defunding Libraries and it is Affecting Racialised Communities, Bad ForM, 21 March 2021

“Libraries are fundamental for social justice and the democratisation of the arts. The intersections between race and deprivation mean that they often hold particular significance for racialised communities, as public, inclusive spaces that are community-focussed.”

HISTORY & ARCHIVES

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‘Blind’ France bears responsibility in Rwanda genocide, report says, The Local, 28 March 2021

“A historical commission set up by President Emmanuel Macron concluded there had been a “failure” on the part of France under former leader Francois Mitterrand over the genocide that saw around 800,000 people slaughtered, mainly from the ethnic Tutsi minority.”

Read the Report here (in French)

Spanish Civil War: José Epita Mbomo, the Spanish electrician who sabotaged the Nazis, EL PAÍS in English, 1 March 2021

“Born in modern-day Equatorial Guinea, Mbomo was taken as a teen to Spain where he became an airplane mechanic at a military air base. He caused a national stir when he married a white woman in 1936, went into exile in France after the Spanish Civil War, spent time in several internment camps and ended up leading a local group of the French Resistance.”

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan honored with international film archive prize, Deutsche Welle, 19 March 2021

“India has not been very good at preserving its films, according to Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, the founder of the Mumbai-based Film Heritage Foundation, which nominated Bachchan for the FIAF award. “By 1950, India had lost almost 70% of its films…”

MUSEUMS & HERITAGE SITES

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Trouble at the V&A, London Review of Books, 24 March 2021

“The museum promises that material specialisms will be retained and has announced three new positions in the Africa-Asia department. But Hunt, who has written that ‘to decolonise is to decontextualise’, is in fact furthering decontextualization…”

 

Interview: Meet Gus Casely-Hayford, the man on a mission to drag museums into the 21st century, The Guardian, 21 March 2021

“The director of the forthcoming V&A East in London wants to transform the visitor experience with digital technology, to address colonialism – and to bring in young people. V&A East is due to open in 2023”

Scots explorer David Livingstone ‘decolonised’ to reflect Africans who helped build his legacy, The Scotsman, 21 March 2021

“We now have a museum that tells of a significant moment in the history of both Europe and Africa. It’s not told from a European perspective or an African perspective, but both.”

Chair of Slavery and Colonialism Review group explains their remit, Edinburgh Reporter, 12 March 2021

“The Review’s remit is broad and takes in figures commemorated in the public realm who were both for and against slavery.”

Facing Our Past, National Trust for Scotland, 2021

“At the National Trust for Scotland, we’ve begun a new project to address the legacies of slavery. We now know that many National Trust for Scotland properties, including the birthplaces of Robert Burns and Hugh Miller, have a link to slavery.”

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New Welsh statues must ‘address lack of diversity’, Senedd committee report finds, ITV, 25 March 2021

“It recommends that a new Welsh national commemoration plaque scheme be created and that communities should decide whether to remove statues in their area.”

New monument to victims of slavery installed on Plymouth Hoe, Plymouth Herald, 26 March 2021

“The plaque on a limestone block in the Peace Garden on Plymouth Hoe features an engraving of the British slave ship Brookes, showing captives tightly packed below decks, which was produced in Plymouth and became an iconic image in the abolition campaign.”

First public sculpture of black woman created by black woman to be unveiled in UK, The Independent, 10 March 2021

“Local artist Helen Wilson Roe has been commissioned by the university [of Bristol] to create a statue of Henrietta Lacks, a black woman whose human cells were found to be the first to survive and multiply outside the body.”

Paris’s Guimet Museum brings Bamiyan Buddhas back to life, 20 years on, France24.com, 11 March 2021

“Twenty years after the destruction of Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban, the Guimet Museum in Paris is paying tribute to the dramatic 6th- and 7th-century sculptures and to the people of Bamiyan, the Hazara Shiites slain by the Taliban at the dawn of this century.”

Portugal confronts its role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Deutsche Welle, 24 March 2021

“In 2009, Portuguese archaeologists uncovered valuable evidence about the lives of the first African slaves in Portugal. The analysis of 158 skeletons found during construction work in the southern Portuguese port city of Lagos led to clear conclusions…”

Benin Bronzes etc.

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Returning colonial-era artefacts is not as easy as it seems, say experts, Dutch News, 29 March 2021

Berlin’s plan to return Benin bronzes piles pressure on UK museums, The Guardian, 23 March 2021

Regional museums break ranks with UK government on return of Benin bronzes, The Guardian, 26 March 2021

EVENTS & EXHIBITIONS

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March-April 2021: Bangladesh 50 Years Programme is live now!, Swadhinata Trust

“Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh, Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives is proud to present a programme of free online events exploring the connections between the War of Independence in 1971 and the local community here in the East End.”

26 March -4 April 2021: Cambridge Festival – Slavery and Abolition: Collections Uncovered

“Wisbech & Fenland Museum and St John’s College collaborate on an online exhibition in which their collections of material on slavery and the abolition movement are combined in public for the first time. As well as the personal campaign materials of abolitionist Thomas Clarkson, the exhibition includes original manuscript material relating to the day-to-day economic realities of Jamaican sugar plantations, and printed works that variously expose and conceal slavery’s horrors.”

15 February – 30 April 2021: Chinese Arts Now Festival (CAN)

“CAN will host ten weeks of eclectic and surprising new exhibitions, performances, screenings and comedy from British East and South East Asian artists.”

Image Credits: Pixabay

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