ARTS

Book Nalini Malani

Nalini Malani: Can You Hear Me?, Whitechapel Gallery, 23 September 2020 – 5 September 2021

“Embodying the role of the artist as social activist, Malani gives voice to the marginalised through visual stories which often take the form of multi-layered, immersive installations, exploring themes of violence, feminism, politics, racial tensions and post-colonial legacies. Widely considered the pioneer of video art in India, Malani has a 50-year multimedia practice that includes film, photography, painting, Wall Drawing/Erasure Performance, theatre, animation and video.”

 

Portrait of veiled mother of nine fishing in Yemen wins World Press Photo award, The Art Newspaper, 15 April 2021

“Pablo Tosco’s image from amidst world’s worst humanitarian crisis tops awards, with 45 photographers garlanded from 28 countries”

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‘Haunting The West’ Explores Artist Michael Rakowitz and Restitution, US Observer, 28 April 2021

“Drawing upon his Iraqi-Jewish heritage, Michael Rakowitz critiques ongoing systems of colonization in his sculptural and participatory work. The artist recounts a formative memory from his childhood, when his mother took him to see reliefs depicting the lion hunt of Ashurbanipal in the Assyrian galleries at the British Museum and posed the question, “What is this doing here?” For Rakowitz, this moment crystalized his understanding of museums as places of extraction, colonization, and crime.”

 

Black Lives Matter statue torn down a day after its Budapest unveiling, Euronews, 2 April 2021

“Standing at just a metre high, the 3D-printed work, which depicts New York’s Statue of Liberty in rainbow colours, has already sparked controversy in the country among the government of Viktor Orbán. Erected on Thursday in the capital Budapest, Lady Liberty is portrayed bending the knee, stretching her right fist in the air and holding a plaque that reads: “Black Lives Matter”.”

 

HISTORY, ARCHIVES & RECORDS

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UK race commission amends line on slave trade after criticism, The Guardian, 30 April 2021

“Report was condemned for claiming ‘slave period’ was not just about ‘profit and suffering’”

Black Cultural Archives leaves government’s Windrush Working Group after ‘unsubstantiated’ race report, BCA, 12 April 2021

“BCA’s full statement on the report covers several issues with the report including the minimisation of the ongoing effects of the transatlantic slave trade, the importance of independent research, historical context and the findings of Wendy William’s 2020 report on the Windrush Scandal.”

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‘We are deeply sorry’: Investigation finds Rowntree company links to slavery and historic racial abuse, YorkMix, 15 April 2021

“The report considered an extensive historical period from the origins of the Rowntree company as a family-run grocery business in 1822 to the £2.5bn takeover by the Swiss corporation Nestlé in 1988.”

Cass Business School reveals new name due to concern over slavery links, The Independent, 21 April 2021

“The school will instead be named after Thomas Baynes, a nonconformist theologian and mathematician from the 18th century, whose grave sits opposite the school in central London.

‘Bayes’ theorem suggests that we get closer to the truth by constantly updating our beliefs in proportion to the weight of new evidence…’ ”

From City Of Empire To City Of Diversity: A Visual Journey, Sampad, 2021

“Two major photographic exhibitions and an extensive citywide community engagement programme to coincide with the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham.”

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Titanic: Searching for the ‘missing’ Chinese survivors,  BBC News, 16 April 2021

“The six men disappeared from history – until now. A documentary film that has just premiered in China, The Six, shines a spotlight on their identities and lives, 109 years after the doomed voyage. It uncovers a tale beyond the Titanic, a story shaped by racial discrimination and anti-immigration policy that has taken on particular resonance today following recent anti-Asian abuse in the US.”

Brit builds online archive of Hong Kong’s colonial history, Hong Kong Apple Daily, 18 April 2021

“David Bellis’ fond passion of the colonial history of Hong Kong has grown into something far more than just a hobby. In 2009, after resigning from his sales management job, the Englishman launched Gwulo.com to share his enthusiasm and offer net users worldwide an open-access platform to learn about the city’s past.”

Book Blood and Diamonds

Stanford historian traces the colonial origins of conflict diamonds in Namibia, Standford News, 6 April 2021

“It’s important to have a discussion about conflict commodities,” Press said. “We want to buy things we feel good about, but what do we do with conflict resources we’ve had for 50 or 100 years? The stain of the blood, so to speak, never really goes away.”

France to open archive for period covering Rwandan genocide, AP, 6 April 2021

“…access to the archives may also help activists in their efforts to bring people involved in the genocide to justice…”

British aid cuts to leave tens of thousands of Syrians ‘paperless’, The Guardian, 29 March 2021

“Tens of thousands of Syrians will no longer receive legal support, leaving many “in utter destitution” without documents they need to work, travel or return home, after the British government pulled £4m in funding from a charity programme, according to its director.”

MUSEUMS & HERITAGE SITES

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Let’s Talk About Empire and Conflict: Free CPD Films for Teachers

Let’s Talk About: Empire and Conflict, Imperial War Museums, 10 March 2021

“Led by IWM experts, teachers and equality advocates Let’s Talk About Empire and Conflict will explore how to teach this subject within a broad and balanced curriculum. You’ll find practical guidance on approach, language, finding sources and managing difficult conversations about race and representation. These videos can be used as a teacher’s companion to these BBC Bitesize resources for KS3 students.”

Commonwealth War Graves & Racism

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Historian speaks out after 350,000 Black and Asian war heroes ‘forgotten’, HertsLive, 27 April 2021

“Prof Olusoga said the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, under its previous leadership, “chose to ignore” the work of Professor Michele Barrett who uncovered the scandal nearly a decade ago.”

Report of the Special Committee to Review Historical Inequalities in Commemoration, Commonwealth War Graves, April 2021

“In December 2019, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) appointed a Special Committee to probe the early history of the Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC) to identify inequalities in the way the organisation commemorated the dead of the British Empire from the two world wars. Where such inequalities were identified, it was asked to produce a set of recommendations that might assist and guide the present-day CWGC in responding to them.”

Unremembered – Britain’s Forgotten War Heroes, Channel 4 TV Documentary, 10 November 2019

“David Lammy MP reveals the shocking story of how 100,000 or more Africans who died in their own continent serving Britain during World War I were denied the honour of an individual grave”

The National Gallery

 National Gallery urged to lead the way with statue to honour slaves, The Guardian, 11 April 2021

“Project to mark the gallery’s bicentenary in 2024 could include ‘counter-monument’ of national contrition, says campaigner”

 

Loot, Benin Bronzes etc.

Loot

New Book Explores Why the Battle Over the Benin Bronzes Is Hardly Finished, ArtNews, 3 May 2021

“The story Phillips tells is one we’ve heard before, most recently in curator Dan Hicks’s 2020 book The Brutish Museums: The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution. But rarely have books like Loot focused so in-depth on the perspectives of Africans.”

Church of England to return Benin Bronzes as repatriation rows rumble on, The Evening Standard, 12 April 2021

“We have offered for the two busts to be included in the Digital Benin project and eventually, returned to our friends in Edo, Nigeria where they may remain. We are currently in discussions with the EMOWAA, via the Legacy Restoration Trust, to arrange this.”

 

Nigeria welcomes Germany′s decision to return looted Benin Bronzes, Deutsche Welle, 30 April 2021

“Hermann Parzinger of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation said the goal is to return the first items by 2022. He said talks are planned with the group’s Nigerian counterparts to ensure “substantial returns and future cooperation.””

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The Battle For Brick Lane, The Tribune, 23 April 2021

“From the Battle of Cable Street to the Bengali squatters movement, Brick Lane has a rich and proud history of political activism. Today that struggle continues, with the local community campaigning against ongoing gentrification.”

 

In photos: Cherry Groce memorial unveiled in Windrush Square, Brixton Buzz, 25 April 2021

“Designed by Sir David Adjaye, the memorial is a tribute to the life of Cherry Groce, an innocent mother who was shot in her home in 1985 by the Metropolitan Police. The shooting sparked the Brixton uprising in which a community rose up in protest to the institutional racism and systemic injustice faced by Britain’s black community.”

Previous Issues of the Black & Asian Heritage Mix’ here

Image Credits: Pixabay, Wikicommons.

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