Historical and Philosophical studies > Social History]
|Creators:||Tulloch, Carol and Cole, Shaun|
The exhibition focused on dress practices amongst black people in Britain from the late 1940s to 2004. It developed out of concerns about the relationships between dress, ethnicity, ’race’ and place outlined in ‘“Out of Many, One People”?: The Relativity of Dress, Race and Ethnicity to Jamaica, 1880-1907’ (Tulloch 1998).In ‘Black British Style’ garments, accessories, photography and film were used to discuss the black identities developed by men, women and children in post-war Britain.
The exhibition challenged stereotypes associated with black aesthetics and identities. It placed the dress choices made by individuals to define their sense of self in a historical context. I wanted visitors to gain a better understanding of how, and why, black people in Britain styled their bodies, whether as part of migration, religious, secular or political activities. Oral testimonies played an important role in portraying ‘the sincere self’ to the choice of garments chosen for display.
The exhibition stressed that there is a historical legacy that underpins the style performance associated with this cultural group. ‘Black British Style’ showed how black people in Britain confronted the tenets of difference to present a sense of ‘authenticity’ to their life experiences.
Black British Style’ was the first major exhibition devoted to these issues to be shown in a national museum. It’s cultural significance extended internationally as it was the inspiration for the exhibition ‘Black Style Now’ (2006), Museum of the City of New York.
The positive national and international media reactions to the exhibition reinforced the importance of recognising the presence and cultural impact of black people in Britain.
An outcome of the exhibition, the associated publication and conference was the successful application for an AHRC Diasporas, Migration and Identities Network grant. This has resulted in the Dress and the African Diaspora Network.
|Type of Research:||Show/Exhibition|
|Additional Information (Publicly available):|
My current research continues with the telling of selves through the dressed black body, which has progressed through the inclusion of narrative studies. This line of inquiry has shifted to understand how individuals negotiate this within diverse contexts-locally, nationally or internationally. Therefore my work has begun to include other groups with similar experience, and/or cultural collaboration, with people of the African diaspora in order to develop a dialogue in the telling and place of individuals and groups. This has partly developed out of the AHRC funded 'Dress and the African Diaspora Network' I co-ordinated over the past two years. Material and visual culture remain central to this investigation, but I now make use of a wider range of media beyond my usual focus of garments, accessories and photography. Exploration of this is being conducted through writing and curating.
|Your affiliations with UAL:||Research Centres/Networks > Transnational Art Identity and Nation (TrAIN)|
Colleges > Camberwell College of Arts
Colleges > Chelsea College of Art and Design
|Date:||07 October 2004|
|Related Websites:||http://www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/microsites/1341_black_british_style/index.php, http://www.transnational.org.uk/projects/15-dress-and-the-african-diaspora-network, http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/contemporary/day_record/nails/index.php|
|Event Location:||Victoria and Albert Museum|
|Deposited By:||Carol Tulloch|
|Deposited On:||07 Dec 2009 09:29|
|Last Modified:||26 Sep 2011 13:46|