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Kareem Reid

Kareem Reid

Articles (1)

Why are there so many shows of black photography in London right now?

Why are there so many shows of black photography in London right now?

Thousands of Londoners took to the streets two weeks ago to march in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, in response to the tragic deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling in the US. Traffic was stopped and chants were heard across Oxford Street, the South Bank, Brixton and outside the US Embassy and Downing Street. At the same time, a series of London art galleries and institutions opened exhibitions exploring black identity in photography. The timing seems pretty prescient; there couldn’t be a better time to look at the representation of black culture in art. A big theme in all these exhibitions is the drive to challenge traditional views of black identity. Artist Ibrahim Kamara, originally from Sierra Leone, and South African photographer Kristin-Lee Moolman have used their project ‘2026’ – showing as part of Somerset House’s 'Utopian Voices Here & Now' (details below) – to imagine an alternate future of black masculinity, set in Johannesburg’s exploding creative scene. Kamara believes that ‘having so many exhibitions that focus on black identity makes Londoners view the black experience on a personal level, which breaks down negative preconceptions. “2026” sheds light on the forgotten black man, the black man that is not represented in the media.’ © Project O, from 'Utopian Voices Here & Now' at Somerset House That ‘forgotten black man’ is also celebrated in an exhibition at the Photographers’ Gallery in Soho. 'Made You Look' brings together both local

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