BLACK* artists on the Move Monthly Newsletter
THE GROOVE is BAOTM's monthly newsletter. Our aim is to promote artists, to publicize opportunities
and events and to be a space for debate and inspiration. Please feel free to contribute. Send us your
article proposals, your event listings, your opportunities. Let's support each other, let's connect, let's
grow together. Copy deadline is 25th of every month. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
with any contributions, listings, questions, proposals.
The newsletter is born at this crucial time. We are determined not to miss the boat but to ride the crest
of this wave. And to find ourselves disembarking in a land of our designation.
Meet a BLACK* artist
Maya Chowdhry Interactive artist
Maya Chowdhry : Live artist, digital transformer, using art to sculpt liberating social justice
1. Maya, why are you an artist?
That's a really hard question. Art can ask questions about a way of being in the world that other ways of
being cannot. Being an artist encompasses a way of being. Some people use the term 'artivist' - I don't
like that. I don't like any terms. I like art as a way of being in the world because it encompasses creativity,
approaching being a human in the world in a creative way. As an artist, you can choose to think and
select different ways to create.
One of the ways you might choose to act is to help fellow human beings. a creative mind helps you think
how to help another human being. That creative way is very different from a philosophical approach - an
artist has an array of creative approaches.
A few years ago I made a theatre piece for Yorkshire Women's Theatre Company, called Sanctuary,
exploring homelessness. When I was researching the piece, visiting homelessness centres, I saw that
people were concentrating on where they were going to sleep that night. You are asking people to make
art and they need a play that night to sleep!
The staff said that the homeless people wouldn't attend my
sessions for that reasons. But when we put the piece on, and created specific performances for
homeless people, I made it very inclusive. it was theatre in the round, with audiences able to contribute
to the story - so it had elements of forum - and there were three different endings the audience got to
decide on. I had some conversations with audience members afterwards. They told me their
participation in the project led them to be more optimistic about changing some elements in their life
which they had been wanting to change.
I make work which explores social justice. At the moment, my attention is on food justice. It is a daily
thought, should I go and volunteer at a food bank or should I make a piece of art? But if I go back to
what I was saying at the beginning - that is, art is an approach to being in the world, then there needn't
be this separation.
I have made a lot of art that has not cost a lot of money. I wrote poems on pieces of paper and stuck
them in the pockets of clothes in Primark - on the theme of exploitative clothes production. If I had put
slips of paper with statements from newspapers, factual pieces, I don't think they would have had the
same effect. That is the difference between living your life artistically. I have always been an activist but
when I separated activism and artistry, then I might have slipped factual messages in Primark pockets
rather than poems.
Calling it 'Creative Industries' leads to all the problems with capitalism being applied to creativity,
competitiveness, ego and elitism. If we see it as a process of transformation, of materials, ideas, and
people - and if it's more democratic, we get somewhere.
Meet lots of brilliant BLACK* artists!
On Monday 29 June, BAOTM delivered Creative Awakenings, a creative and economic development
programme to a cohort of outstanding artists - dancers, musicians, poets, DJs, puppeteers, theatre
makers.... Here's a snippet of the session.
Euton Daley MBE
I am full of energy, laughter, passion
I am dedicated and committed
I am genuine and authentic with 40 years abundance of skill, experience and expertise
I am an agitator and a compassionate peace envoy
I am hard working, stubborn in a pursuit for fairness and justice for the many not the few
I am a believer in people and that change is possible
I am a giver, an enabler
I am an adventurer, a seeker and not a follower of the norm
I am a warrior. I use all my wounds and trauma, even whilst healing, to build strength and resilience; like
I am an alchemist with a powerful tool and my ancestors support, turning poison into medicine for me
and my descendants; changing family karma.
I am an artist. Using my neuro-diversity, wonderful mind and imagination to create rich work, honing my
skills and learning how to manage myself in healthier ways, overcoming self doubt to become expansive
in my vision, become brave, mastering my fears. Turning them into questions to fuel future endeavours.
I am a champion winning over my small self, competing with myself to grow and better myself.
I am a healer, using the tools at my disposal to become well & strong so I can support others and work
with my fellows to grow in our journey to wholeness and victory.
In this hectic and frantic world – I take great pleasure in the fact that I’m simply myself. I’m just Jonah. To
be me is to travel seamlessly through numerous boxes and imperfect labels – fighting adversity while
maintaining my integrity. I’m an activist, social entrepreneur, ecosystem builder, artist, thinker, and
solution-focused problem solver. I take a birds-eye approach to life - focusing on the bigger picture and
the vision I have for myself – this allows me to:
See connections others miss
Develop frameworks of thinking with unknown variables
Manage complex systems
Recognise patterns in the seemingly unrelated
Latisha is dancer educator facilitator and all around creative. A Haitian American born and raised in
Brooklyn, Latisha’s work is rooted in a tradition of resistance and revolution. Her work reflects her love of
history and drive for social justice. Passionate and animated, Latisha uses her various gifts to uplift and
create safe and healing spaces to grow. She has a way with words and has been known draw out
thoughts from unsuspecting hearts and minds and make them beautiful. Latisha currently offers classes
and workshops based on Afro - Caribbean dance and ritual.
Donna Pinnock of Tan Teddy Jamaican Folk Culture Group
I was named Donna (Lady) at birth by my father in the sunny island of Jamaica. I was born with a gift to
be supportive to people I met. I did not know how to explain the “gift”, I have at a young age, so I instead
just continue to be kind and supportive to people in need. Always empathetic towards people who were
in a situation I felt was worse than mine, even though I also lived in poverty. I am creative, lifting people’s
spirits, increasing their energy levels, and bringing an enhanced sense of well-being. “I am a promise, I
am a possibility”
BLACK* artists on the move Events
Please send us through information about any upcoming events by 25th of every month. We'll do our
best to include....
Coming up very soon.....
Tickets can be obtained at :
Sheba Soul Ensemble presents FLY! Higher Screenings and conversations by women directors from
across the world 25 July and 29 Aug. Check our website for more details from 6 July.
Friends of St Pauls Library invite you to join our sensational online programme :
Dance with Cleo Lake Mondays at 11am. Reservations via email@example.com
Open Mic last Thursday of every month
Meet BLACK* artists on the move artists based outside UK
Introducing the work of the amazing Corinne Melco. Corinne is based in Mauritius - her stunning work is
extremely affordable and can be sent anywhere in the world. We are delighted to recommend her. She
can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
We need your help!
BLACK* artists on the move is keen to offer commissions to artists across all disciplines. To be
considered for a commission, artists need to be members of BLACK* artists on the move. Membership
entitles you to a 25% discount on all events, conferences, training programmes and residential courses.
Annual Membership rates are
Organisational rate £100
Full rate £25
Under 21 £5
Please contact us for more details email@example.com
Become one of our 100 BLACK* artists!
Please join our campaign to create an autonomous space for BLACK* arts in the UK.
From 1 August we will be opening our 100 BLACK* artists campaign. We are seeking 100 artists who are
able to pledge £10 a week for 2 years. In other words, you will be investing £1040 in the BLACK* arts
sector in total over a two year period. In the first 6 months, no financial payouts will be made but every
month we will reward you with a gift - a book, a small art work. After the first 6 months, BAOTM will
begin making 4 monthly payouts of £520 each month and one payment of £1000. You will receive a
guaranteed repayment of £520 at some point during the 2 year payout period and you stand a 25%
chance of receiving an additional £1000 investment in you.
Please feel free to talk to us about getting involved. We know everyone cannot make that kind of
investment -so we are actively seeking partners to support artist involvement in the project. If you know
of an individual or an organisation who may wish to support our endeavour, please get in touch
BLACK* artists on the move Monthly newsletter August 2020
A very warm welcome to our August newsletter where we cast the spotlight on artists and creatives doing great things across the country and the world. But first... Will you be one of our 100 BLACK* artists? One of the founding principals of BLACK* artists on the move stemmed from our frustration of having to go to white funding organisations with our begging bowls so that they ultimately determine the BLACK* arts landscape and call the shots on is esteemed good enough to be granted an award. In the 21st century this is unacceptable. After much reflection, this is our proposal : 100 artists agree to join the initiative. This involves a monthly payment of £40. If an artist wishes to join but cannot afford the payments, we are in the process of assembling sponsors who will make the payment on an artist’s behalf. After 6 months’ membership, we will commence our monthly shareouts – 4 artists will receive a payment of £520 and 1 artist will receive £1000. This will be an entirely random process. In the course of 2 year membership, you are guaranteed to receive a payment of £520 and have a 25% chance of receiving an additional payment of £1000. These are ‘no strings’ attached payments. So the programme is a mixture of a savings plan and an investment in other artist’s creativity. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to register. Come and join us in taking control of our own creative destinies.
Meet a Black artist Sam Hudson lives in Derby and is a Carnival artist. Here’s an excerpt from an interview with her:
BAOTM: Can you tell us how you became an artist?
Sam: I’ve always been involved in Caribbean Carnival. I studied art and design and graphic design at college and with my trips o art galleries in London with my college, I couldn’t see anything that represented me. I wanted to contribute to that. So I got into painting portraits of people from my own community backgrounds.In October 2019 I held a Black portrait exhibition celebrating African Caribbean’s contribution to British Society through Carnival arts and Junkanoo. I featured the designers – it was called Carnival The man behind the mask Fine Art Exhibition. I continued that legacy by getting involved in lots of research trips. I took a group of young people to the Bahamas in December 2019 to explore the roots of Carnival and Junkanoo in the Bahamas.
BAOTM : What was the most important thing you discovered?
Sam : The difference between Junkanoo and Carnival. The similarities are the theme of emancipation. For Carnival you make costumes out of fabrics and feathers. But for Jonkanoo the costumes are made out of cardboard and recycled materials. In February 2020, I went to Germany attending 4 different carnivals there to look at different ways of making costumes and floats using recycled materials. At Boppard
Carnival, they used massive papier mache floats. It opened my eyes to how we can develop what we do over here. I am interested in people and what makes them great and I want to capture that on my canvas. With the Carnival artists I came across, I learnt that Carnival is a labour of love; people work around the clock to make these incredible citrus costumes. People put their life and soul into the costumes – it takes everything out of you. So when I make portraits of the Carnival artists, I use simple black and white because all the colour has gone into the costumes. I add a little bibliography about each person.
BAOTM: What’s next, Sam?
Sam : My next plan is to find new ways of doing Carnival arts. I have a number of commissions at the moment – people have asked me to do individual portraits. It means a lot. When I did my Art at College, I got a D. When I questioned that, my tutor said my work deserved an A* but he was giving me a D so I would keep trying! I did my degree at Loughborough University. They tried to stop me painting Black faces and said I had to paint fruit instead. So I painted red, gold, and green fruit. These images are of historical people. Take the image of poet Merle Roach who last saw her home in Montserrat just before the volcano eruption. I present build ups behind. Each person is highly significant to Black culture.
BAOTM: What was it like doing online Carnival?
Sam: It was so stressful but I am so proud of our Derby team because we had everything against us. We had to pre-record social distanced dance routines – from a troupe of 60 kids, we had to select 10. We had to mark the floor two weeks before because of the social distancing and the costumes. I had to watch an old VHS tape of carnival – a part of the archive, we had an old queen show from the girls who went to Carnival then, now their kids are with us. So we interviewed the mothers whose children are now with us. What Carnival means to you. It’s brilliant to get that feedback from all the generations. We had a competition section, an international section, focusing on all the international artists that have supported Derby Carnival, Aswad, Wayne Wonder, Ninjaman, Twinkle Brothers, - there are so many who have come over, it’s been fantastic.
Hughbon Condor, Costume designer extraordinaire, Leeds painted by Sam Hudson Meet a Black creative : Dr Mena Fombo is collaborating with Mike Jenkins to set up a new BLACK* arts space in Bristol in 2022.
BAOTM: So the barge is in everyone’s consciousness right now. Tell us how the idea came about.
Mena : I’m from Bristol but I’d been away in London, the US and Kenya – and in the time away, I just imagined that spaces like Kuumba would have multiplied - it was a venue that inspired me so much growing up. I just imagined when I got back there’d be more thriving visible black led spaces. What I found was there was loads of things happening – in fact, just not everything was visible, especially when trying to reintegrate back into a city. I tended to find out when things had happened, I believe because so many of us are entrepreneurs, so big glitzy marketing campaigns don’t always happen, the focus is much more on making things happen. Also working at the university, Black students said they didn’t feel connected to the indigenous Black community. That was what inspired The Black Girl Convention – where Black women from around the South West, Bristol, Gloucester, could have a place to meet other Black women, buy Black-owned produce, find a community. It was really important that it was visible.
BAOTM : So those ideas are central to the barge project?
Mena : Yes. Visibility. Black owned. The centre of Bristol. We didn’t want to invest energy in de-colonizing Bristol venues, it was more important and symbolic to build something that would belong to the black community. I met Mike last year. His motivation in reclaiming the Harbourside, the history of the harbour. Claiming our place in a part of Bristol that our labour through the centuries has brought about. So we’re currently in the fundraising stage. We need larger support from businesses, philanthropists and arts bodies and they often require match funding – hence our current fundraiser campaign. We have found a barge we like which can accommodate 150 people downstairs - or host socially distanced events - and have intimate and digital spaces like the café area upstairs.
So we are working towards buying the venue, recruiting a team. We want to make sure the programme is cocreated. The venue is a means to an end. The space is important but the programme and the people are the most important. We would love to have the venue by 2022. 10 years from now, we want the space to be a world class venue and one of the leading cultural spaces in the city - one of the top ten reasons people come to Bristol. We are asking people to get involved by: · Joining our collective of black artists and creatives for some ideas development workshops – these are paid roles, Deadline to apply 13th August 2020 · Completing our survey, open to people from all backgrounds · Supporting the gofundme Here are the links to the different ways of getting involved : https://linktr.ee/BACCS
Introducing the work of Serah Chibombwe, working from Lusaka, Zambia. Serah is a live artist, who also works producing paintings. She is happy to accept commissions and can be contacted on email@example.com
BLACK* artists on the move events listings
Sheba Soul Ensemble FLY! Higher festival of BLACK* women’s film returns this month online.
FREE!!! Saturday 15 August, book now The first on 15 August hosted by Akulah Agami celebrates the richness of UK Black women film-makers approach to relationships. Guest appearance - contemporary artist and film-maker Chanje Kunda will share three stirring short films and discuss her work. Plus, a Bollywood dance workshop with Anusha Subramanyam. Saturday 29 August, book now Lorena Pino Montilla is our guest curator of Latin American cinema, celebrating films directed by women from Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil with a focus on the representation of childhood. Guest appearances from Marianela Maldonado, Venezuelan screenwriter and filmmaker, Alejandra Jiménez, Colombian-British animation specialist and Dr Deborah Martin,specialist in representations of gender and childhood in Latin American cinema.
22 August A Symphony of Somersets Online Free 11.30 and 8pm What stories of enslavement, exploitation and resilience, what surprising echoes between places thousands of miles apart will be unearthed in this unique event that celebrates the 36 different Somersets around the world. ‘Choreographed’ and conducted by Akulah Agbami.
Commissioned by The Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton.
27 August 7-9pm Open Mic We do keep plugging Friends of St Paul’s Library Open Mic Night because it is such a friendly and inspiring event. Get your free ticket here : https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/friends-of-st-pauls-library-open-mic-night-tickets107808909350
Last words : Come on everyone. WE WANT TO SUPPORT YOU!!! Send us your news, events, ideas, questions, thoughts through. We are currently compiling the BAOTM 2021 calendar and diary. Are you a visual artist with painting, photos o other artwork – please get in touch as soon as possible. September is traditionally in the UK a month of harvesting – we’ll be having a particular focus on gathering the funds together, writing those irresistible funding applications so we can all have a stress free winter.... well, that’s the theory. Take care everyone and check you next month.
08 / 05 / 2019
Eclectic 2 saw Kuumba Nia Arts return to Bristol and delight the Derby West Indian Community Association crowd.
Women are always defining themselves, making sense of their lives,assessing their contribution to their community, to the world around them. And self-examination lies very much at the heart of this brilliant productionof 'On their own ground'.
The lead performer, Amantha Edmead, - cannot be recommended highly enough. I am tempted to say there is no part to great for her - she is a monumental performer, who makes it look so easy when we all know it is quite the opposite.
In this piece she seamlessly wends her way through the compelling evocation of the lives of 3 statuesque women whose lives resonate in different ways. A play that urges women to look courageously at ways in which we can all stand on our own ground.
08 / 05 / 2019
Eclectic Clusters 3
An evening of joyful journeying in the company of the electrifying Ballet Nimba.
Join us as we enter into deep caverns exploring the origins and deep meanings of the dances, rhythms, music of Guinea, Conakry and other neighboring West African countries. Not an evening for sitting around watching but one that will draw you in and awaken the dancer within.
Saturday 18th May
The Quaker Meeting House, Wedmore Vale BS 3 5HX
The performance starts at 8.00 pm weather permitting.
Intimate Knowledge will unfold in the stunning gardens at The Friend's House (otherwise indoors).
This is set to be a memorable evening in the company of exceptional artists, in a breath-taking setting, accompanied by great vegetarian food and drink, included in the price.
Tickets with meal is £14:00 through https://www.headfirstbristol.co.uk/#date=2019-05-18&event_id=53990
Nimba, formerly known as Ballet Nimba, forms our third destination in our Eclectic Clusters journey. Based in Wales, the company have for 10 years been bringing the delights of Guinean dance and music to UK audiences. Their show Intimate Knowledge, taking place at The Friend's Meeting House, Wedmore Vale, Bristol BS3 5HX, promises to unveil the secrets and origins of the dances and musical rhythms of Guinea Conakry. We look forward to welcoming them for their evening performance on 18 May at Wedmore Vale, preceded by an earlier family-focused event at St Paul's Library and concluding with a performance at Derby West Indian Community Association on Monday 20 May.
The last Saturday in October for me, is usually reserved for the United Families and Friends Campaign march in London, to honour the lives of my cousin (Seni Lewis), and others who were killed at the hands of the state. Thousands took to the streets to protest at the killing of George Floyd, but we are usually less than 300 on the UFFC march. This yea, the UFFC made a film instead. Please wake up to the reality of the justice(or lack of it) in the UK. We are tired of being praised for our ""dignity"...no justice, no peace. See you in Trafalgar Square on 30th October 2021, because SURELY someone has to be held accountable? Please note, if any video should be viral, it's this...
We would like to draw your attention to an event taking place next Saturday 2nd of October 7:30pm in Taunton, Somerset and available to experience online. The event, part of our UK Black History Month programme, is entitled History is Now! and Lemn Sissay MBE, generally heralded as the UK's leading Black poet, is top of the bill. But we also have a sensational line-up of supporting artists in the UK and in Africa and the Caribbean. Tan Teddy Jamaican Folk group will be opening the evening with their heart-stirring music. They will be joined by installation artist Lawrence Chikwa, live from Zambia -presenting a specially commissioned piece - and world-class jazz pianist Guy-Marc Vadeleux, also presenting a world premiere of his newly composed 'Lhistoire nous entoure' piano composition. Audiences from all over the world will be able to ask questions and get involved. Definitely an event that will go down in the annals of 2021 outstanding shows.
Here is the link for both live and online tickets. Please contact us for further details for purchasing online tickets.
It was a real joy having Lemn back in Bristol for two performances. The first was a sell-out at Bristol Old Vic where Lemn followed a moving performance by Glen, the Singing Chef (accompanied in an impromptu way by Dionne, in the audience) and Nia, whose bus meant we had to wait to enjoy her beautiful compositions, all too briefly. Then I had the honour of introducing Lemn Sissay - I had spent all day learning the set speech - but I only got through half of it, before he bounced on stage.
There is no-one quite like him for melting story into poem into story. For starting a poem off, getting through two lines, interweaving a lengthy anecdote and then finishing the poem off twenty minutes later. Suspense becomes an art form laced ingenuously with humour where you might least expect it. and he offers us rare heart-rending glimpses into the peregrinations of his unparalleled life, transforming him from the child kicked out by unloving foster parents when he was 13, into the proud Ethiopian who tracked down his family all over the world and finally into the Vice Chancellor of the University of Manchester and a poet, short-listed for the highest honour of Poet Laureate.The narrative of his life serves to 'place' his poetry all the more memorably. An evening with Lemn Sissay is a feast for the senses like watching an endless shooting star storm on a fragrant night.
08 / 05 / 2019
A morning with Lemn Sissay is no less memorable - FOSPL invited Lemn Sissay and Mayor Cleo Lake to launch their opening event. Lemn spoke passionately about the role of libraries in his formative artist years as being the place where art happened, where poets performed and workshops on all manner of creative subject could unfold..The virtues of libraries continued to be extolled by Mayor Cleo Lake who reminded us of the obvious - libraries are a place for sharing, where we do not need to possess and own, but we get to take turns in accessing our common property.
Lemn's next engagement took place in an intimate atmosphere at the Derby West Indian Community Association setting. A small throng gathered and were regaled by Lemn's performance in a very different key. A cluster of eclectic events that will be 'long memoried'.
10 / 04 / 2019
Eclectic Clusters BLACK* artists on the move is delivering a fresh programme of phenomenal arts to delight audiences around the country and boost all our emotional intelligence!
First up is the incomparable, irrepressible Lemn Sissay, appearing at Bristol Old Vic on Friday 12 April at 8pm, then making an appearance at The Learning Centre in St Paul’s on Saturday 13 April 11 am and finally moving on to Derby West Indian Centre on Saturday 13 April at 7.30pm.
Poet extraordinaire, an evening with Lemn pushes the boundaries of poetry and draws on the back story of his life to give us all a deeper understanding of our own humanity. Definitely not to be missed.
Amantha Edmead returns to Bristol later in the month on Friday 26 April. Her amazing one-woman show On their own ground is being performed at Quakers, Wedmore Vale, Bristol BS3 5HX. Amantha is an actress at the top of her game. Her timing and tone are flawless and the word captivating does not come close. Tickets are £10 and £6 concessions. Amantha will appear at STUN on Saturday 27 April 7pm and Derby West Indian Centre on Sunday 28 April 7.30pm. Another show that will leave an indelible imprint....
In May our rhythm is changing. We are honoured to welcome Kakatsitsi from Ghana and Mbilou from Gabon for a pulsating evening of Afrikan dance and drumming to elevate our minds, bodies and souls. The show opens at Arnolfini Bristol on 17 May at 7.30pm, then 18 May STUN Manchester 7pm and 19 May Derby West Indian Centre 7.30pm.
The Eclectic Clusters programme ends with a poignant dance performance by a Martinican dance company Danselavia. The show is entitled The Cry of my Roots and narrates moving segments of Haitian history. Appearing at Bristol Old Vic on Sunday 23 June at the finale of FLY! Festival of Black Women’s Theatre (www.shebasoulensemble.com) at 7.30pm, then at Tacchi Morris Taunton on Monday 24 June at 7.30pm, at Derby West Indian Centre on 28 June at 7.30pm and culminating at STUN, Manchester on Saturday 29 June 7pm.
We warmly welcome you to all these carefully selected shows which give us a taste of BLACK* art at its greatest both nationally and internationally. Come cluster with us!
Details on 07449196673 or firstname.lastname@example.org
DIASPORA FESTIVAL 2018
Diaspora is the inaugural season of world class art and creative happenings marking Bristol's year of change and the UN International Decade for People of African Descent. The DIASPORA Season of Art and Understanding will be taking place in Bristol between 11 October and 27 December 2018 at venues all over Bristol. We are delighted to welcome artists from Mauritius, as guests of honour. Mauritius celebrates 50 years of independence from Britain this year and it feels appropriate to have an exploration of how British colonialism has shaped one island nation and how this resonates in artists work today.
Commencing on 11 October with the high profile and highly symbolic visit by Dr Julius Garvey, the season comprising exhibitions, debates, spoken word events, theatre and dance performances, symposia and an art fair, will stretch until late-December. A two and a half month long programme may seem ambitious – but we have deliberately selected a period which straddles BLACK* History Month, a time of year when people have been programmed to expect a rich menu of great BLACK* art. An art fair of exceptional BLACK* artwork in November to coincide with a time when families are on the look out for great ideas for Christmas makes perfect commercial sense.
It is really hard to find brilliant and affordable BLACK* art works (and crafts) but these are definitely something that BLACK* families in particular – though not exclusively – will pay for – consequently this initiative very much forms a major commercial block for the whole of our programme.
We will be featuring work from artists all over the world through our GLOBALEX programme. Work will be displayed on the giant screen in Millennium Square. The full confirmed programme will be available by early September - so watch this space and then head to Funzing to reserve your tickets.
28 / 08 / 2018
Akeim Toussaint Buck, UK-based dancer and spoken word artist and Cameron Fisher produced this haunting piece as their collaboration.
Two days into my British Council visit to Mauritius and I meet Corinne Camille. She is the third artist I encounter and she reiterates what is starting to become a familiar story. If you’re an artist in Mauritius, you have an incredible struggle on your hands. There is no state support for artists. With luck, you might get one or two private contracts. Corinne has worked in hotels, and tried to sell tourists t shirts, bags, glasses. It’s difficult to find your own form of expression. She was commissioned to do what is known as ‘live painting’ in upmarket restaurants and then she could paint what she wanted and occasionally sold a piece of work.
But more often than not, a tourist manager will order specific types of work, right down to the colour scheme, buy it from Corinne for a pittance and then sell it for five times the price paid.
We deplore this exploitation of artists and are actively working with local people to re-evaluate the place of art in Mauritius and the way artists are treated. Oh, and by the way, congratulations to the island for celebrating 50 years of independence from the UK.
For the next two months, BLACK* artists on the move are proud to feature Mauritian artists and to shine a light on their immense talent and the challenges they face.
Written by Akulah Agbami
08 / 05 / 2018
Due to circumstances far beyond our control, our Eclectic events have had to vacate our venue slot at Kuumba Arts Centre.
16 / 04 / 2018
BLACK* artists on the Move present Eclectic
…. synonymous with phenomenal BLACK* art….
April/May 2018 Kuumba Arts Centre 7.30pm
All tickets £8 - £12 higher waged including a delicious Caribbean supper unless otherwise stated.
19 April Guy-Marc Vadeleux, virtuoso jazz pianist in concert and all the way from the exquisite Caribbean island of Martinique, Guy-Marc performs his own unforgettable Caribbean jazz. The perfect accompaniment to springtime.
26 April Griotte Chinere drawing on Afrikan storytelling traditions and rituals, deftly composes an evening of tanatalizing tales.
3 May Ballet Nimba presents a breath-taking performance of Afrikan dance.
10 May Lemn Sissay, one of the UK’s leading poets and raconteur, lands in Bristol to share his inimitable way with words.
Tickets £10 - £15 including dinner.
07 / 04 / 2018
Bob Nosa - Major Nigerian artist shares his work and thoughts with \BLACK* artists on the Move. Bob is one of 20 artists currently involved in the GLOBALEX programme, which supports international artists and UK artists developing their practice through thought-provoking conversations.
1. How long have you been working on this theme?
This theme has been recurring in my practice, I started working on this body of work "the human merchandise in Libya 2017"immediately I got aware in 2017 what was happening to my brothers and sisters who are running away from Africa due to the consequences of poor leadership in Africa.
2. How many pieces have you produced in total?
It a body of work that is on going though, I have done a large number.
3. You are obviously very angry about the situation in Libya, what is the worst aspect of it, in your mind?
I am very angry and embittered with the situation in Libya. Selling humans should be condemned by all, its an inhuman act.
4. So in the 21st century when inequality ,exploitation and destruction are on the increase, what is the artist's role?
The artist should express and communicate emotion via art, to correct, document, shame all form of ill manners.
Corinne Camille, painter and visual artist.
13 / 02 / 2018
Eclectic is happening! We are now into Week 2 of Eclectic and things are going well. Our blend of a warm welcome, phenomenal BLACK* art and succulent Caribbean food is a compelling combination.
Week 1 1/2/18
To open our programme, we invited outstanding Tanzanian drummer Sam Mbogo to feature in the Creative Encounters slot. He shared with us a brief history of drumming traditions in his home country. Then he raised all our energy levels with his virtuoso performance.
This was the perfect lead in to Letitia Kamayi’s presentation , ‘My vision now’. She explained to us very poignantly the political and personal complexities that can be summed up in a photo. She also pointed out that the right photo at the right time can act as a calling card and gain you entry into hitherto closed circles. As a young women undertaking to compile the archive for the country of the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as continuing her own artistic practice, we applaud her vision and commitment.
And then we broke into conversation and reaction to all we had been given and we literally had to tear ourselves away. A great start to a brilliant programme.
Week 2 8/2/18
We have been clear that the main focus for our opening month is youth talent. However, we know that our more established artists have a wealth of knowledge. So we are keen to ensure that Eclectic offers those networking opportunities between the generations…
Glen, the singing chef, performed in our creative Encounters segment. An outstanding soul and reggae artist, Glen gave us impeccable acappella covers of The Drifters, Otis Redding, ‘Now that we found love’ and his own composition ‘Riot’. The audience was spellbound.
Then the tempo changes as Joel Douglas fired up the stage with his energizing spoken word and music which saw the whole room grooving to the vibe by the end of the evening.
Audience feedback was full of praise : ‘A great platform for black artists for us all to appreciate.’ ‘What talent!’ ‘This is good because these ideas have to go round’, ‘Opportunties like this are essential.’ And many participants gave the event a 10/10.
So two more weeks of Eclectic at Hamilton House – with more youthful talent in the spotlight – brilliant performer Ketibu on 15/2 and prize-winning spoken word artist Solomon OB on 22/2. Then we will be based at Kuumba Arts centre for the remaining 16 sessions.
So be part of the Eclectic vision and join us. Tickets including a delicious Caribbean dinner range from £12 - £8. 07449196673.
15 / 01 / 2018 The official BLACK* artists on the Move Directory is being added to our website! This directory is a comprehensive list of carefully categorized black, Asian, refugee and minority ethnic artists in the UK. If you'd like to find BLACK* artists in near you, make an easy search in our 'search by location' tab.
Or if you'd like to be added to the list yourself, please get in touch by following our 'contact' tab. We would love to hear from you!
14 / 01 / 2018 BLACK* artists on the Move is excited to announce the launch of it's very own website! This site will enable easy access to all of our latest news, events, projects and the BLACK* artists on the Move Directory.
Continue to check this space for regular updates!