This display brings together works from the 1960s and 1970s by eight photographers who documented Black communities in London: Raphael Albert, Bandele ‘Tex’ Ajetunmobi, James Barnor, Colin Jones, Neil Kenlock, Dennis Morris, Syd Shelton and Al Vandenberg.
The photographs reveal the many and varied experiences of individuals who travelled from the Caribbean region and West Africa to live in London, from everyday family life to political engagement. They show people as they respond to, react against and move beyond the racial tension and exclusion that were part of life for Black communities in the British capital. The title of the display, ‘Stan Firm inna Inglan’, is taken from the poem It Dread inna Inglan by Linton Kwesi Johnson, who in the 1970s gave a voice and poetic form to the Afro-Caribbean diaspora and its resistance in the face of racism. The poem expresses in Jamaican patois (creole) the resolve of African, Asian and Caribbean immigrants to ‘stand firm in England’, asserting the determination of Black British communities to remain in Britain and declare it as their rightful home.
The work of most of the photographers has gained prominence in recent years through the research and curatorial work of Autograph ABP, which was established in London in 1988 to advocate the inclusion of historically marginalised photographic practices.
All works in the display have been gifted to the Tate collection and form part of the Eric and Louise Franck London Collection, an important collection of photography which was assembled over more than 20 years.
This display has been curated by Elena Crippa, Allison Thompson and Susana Vargas Cervantes.