BLK ACT MAP commissions by collectives Skin Deep, RECLAIM, and Voices that Shake! were presented in a sell-out showcase at Platform Theatre, Central Saint Martins London.
The theme of these commissions was Rep the Road (inspired by poet and writer Sai Murray), meaning the representation of the personal political journeys of black and brown British resistance and a repairing of the roads and legacies of communities of colour in the UK. We asked each collective to explore some or all of the following questions:
- How can BLK ACT MAP be used to embed arts collectives in the legacy of black and brown activism and resistance in the UK across the generations?
- How can BLK ACT MAP highlight unsung and forgotten black and brown heroes/heroines from our communities?
- What were the political turning points and/or revelations for the black and brown individuals, organisations? How can BLK ACT MAP creatively remind us of their learning and lessons?
- How can we use the BLK ACT MAP as present-day interventions and solidarity efforts in anti-gentrification efforts in the communities we come from as the gentrification erases and dismantles another generation of black and brown contribution to culture and resistance?
This lively event generated media coverage from The Quietus and other publications. Documentation of the commissions and the launch will be made available online.
‘THE FIGHT HAS ALREADY BEGUN’ — BY ZAHRA DALILAH FOR THE QUIETUS
‘WHEN WE ASK THEM THEY SAY “DON’T STOP!”‘ — BY JAMES MARRIOTT FOR PLATFORM
Skin Deep is a London-based multimedia platform that amplifies voices of colour through the discussion of race and culture, inspiring much needed conversations around themes that are usually misrepresented or depoliticised by the mainstream media. Skin Deep’s multimedia project is based around a print publication, live events and interactive digital exhibition that responds to the theme: MOVEMENT(S). Through original nonfiction, fiction, poetry, artwork and illustration Skin Deep have invited their contributors to think about, through and around the political journeys of black and brown activists.
RECLAIM is a youth leadership and social change organisation. It was set up in Manchester in 2007 to identify and support young leaders from an intensely pressurised community. Their work allows young people to develop their skills and potential and to build their pathway to make the world a better place for all. Through their commission RECLAIM will unveil the hidden cultures in Manchester merging art, politics and creativity and look at how linking these mediums can say so much about the world we live in today. They will revisit, reimagine and revive stories of black and brown activism from the past – stories from the north that have shaped the lives of many in Manchester communities today.
Voices that Shake! is a collective that brings together young people, artists and campaigners to develop creative responses to social injustice. Using a model of personal transformation and structural change, Shake! challenges established imbalanced power-bases and re-imagine new infrastructures in opposition to capitalism and colonialism. Shake! will deliver a multimedia performance showcase (musical oral history, storytelling, spoken word, film, soundscapes and visual collage) collaboratively devised between four artist facilitators from SHAKE!. Featured artists include Sai Murray, Dhelia Snoussi, Globe Poets and Nawi Collective.