Sunday, February 26, 2006

roots to reckoning

Charlie Phillips (left), Armet Francis (right) - today @ the Museum of London

I saw the Roots to Reckoning exhibition at the Museum of London earlier today. It celebrated the lives of blacks in Britain, as captured on camera by 3 Jamaican born Londoners - over 20 to 30 years. Roots to Reckoning opened in October and ended today, so my attending the exhibition was a last gasp thing. And I'm glad I did, because there were events taking place around the exhibition, with a reception for visitors and organisers, and 2 of the 3 photographers taking part in a talk about issues raised by the show. It was the first exhibition hosted by a major organisation in the UK entirely focused on the works of black photographers, namely: Charlie Phillips, Armet Francis and Neil Kenlock.

Poet Benjamin Zephaniah was there

Francis was already known to me. Our paths crossed countless times during Africa 05 for which he served tirelessly as the official photographer. He also covered FESTAC '77 in Nigeria - and some of his images from that landmark event in black cultural history were on view at the exhibition. Other famous subjects on whom the 3 have trained their lens on - as seen in the show - include: Muhammad Ali, C.L.R James, Stokely Carmichael, Omar Sharif and Bob Marley.

Zephaniah, Phillips... Francis is 4th from left. Diane Abbott MP, one of the most prominent black parliamentarian in the UK, was also there.


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