Something for the weekend

Expectations: Neil Kenlock at the Black Cultural Archives, Brixton

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The work of the Jamaican photographer who captured post-Windrush Britain takes centre stage in the archive’s first ever photography exhibition

With the weather turning, this weekend is the perfect opportunity to catch-up on some of those exhibitions you’ve been too busy drinking Pimms on the lawn to visit so far this summer.

For those interested in a zeitgeisty culture hit, the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton is showing an exhibition of the work of photographer Neil Kenlock, who’s known for his influential photographs of post-Windrush Britain. The exhibit’s been curated by his daughter Emilia, with a view to showcasing transformative moments in emerging black leadership in Britain, during the 1960s and ‘70s. The archives will showcase a diverse panel of the Jamaican artist’s celebrated photographs, with an array of meaningful portraits and reportage photography.

Kenlock’s own story is fascinating. He started capturing key moments in black culture following his time spent as a member of the British Black Panther movement, after which time his photography served both as a platform for societal change, and to highlight white British discrimination. Now, the exhibition shines a light on Britain’s changing cultural landscape during West Indian assimilation, through some of Kenlock’s most intriguing and moving pictures.

Piecing together a special mix of her father’s black and white photographs, Emelia’s exhibition is the perfect portal to five back into post-Windrush Britain. Moments are laid bare with a diverse range of rare prints, including the historic meeting between Courtney Lawes, a black community rights pioneer, and Lord Jenkins, the thoroughly repressed Home Secretary of the time. Also expect lively portraits of anti-discrimination activists, like Olive Morris, the women’s and squatter’s rights campaigner, and Darcus Howe, the broadcaster and civil rights activist.

Perhaps best of all, Kenlock’s prints serve as not only a chance to learn more about the Windrush generation, but also about a number of vital, but forgotten players who made Britain the nation it is today.

blackculturalarchives.org