All posts tagged: Mark Sealy

Frantz Fanon’s psychology of race, in photographs

In 2015, the cross-pollination of races occurs freely and globally. Yet it is easy to overlook the complex process of identification that a mixed-race person must confront. For in each race’s DNA is a history, culture and psychology that are all too-often defined in isolation. In his most recent series, Frantz Fanon, which tracks the life of the iconic 20th century thinker, Bruno Boudjelal has continued his career tradition of using photography to untangle the rich web of his own mixed identity. Frantz Fanon is widely regarded as the definitive post-colonial theorist. Born in Martinique, he traveled to France to fight in the Second World War before settling in North Africa, working as a psychiatrist in a small town, Blida, 50 miles from the Algerian capital. It was here, in the years leading up to both its release and Fanon’s death in 1961, that he wrote his chilling account of the psychological effects of colonialism and decolonization on the native Algerian population, Les Damnés de la Terre – ‘The Wretched of the Earth.’   “For …

2015-11-05T19:31:02+00:00

The Manchester town hall meeting that shaped Africa: remembering the Fifth Pan-African Congress

In October 1945, as European powers have retreated within themselves, decimated, disfigured and shellshocked by the tide of death that had swept over the continent for the last six years, 87 delegates representing 50 organisations met in a town hall in Manchester. They came together for the Fifth Pan-African Congress, all with a singular, righteous purpose: the liberation of hundreds of millions of Africans living under colonial rule. Seventy years have passed since the Fifth Pan-African Congress, an event which, in hindsight, was one of the most significant happenings of African organisation ever to have occurred in Britain, perhaps the world. To commemorate, Autograph ABP are, for the first time, exhibiting photographs taken at the event.  The exhibition features over thirty photographs, a selection of rare ephemera and materials associated with the Congress and will be accompanied by a Pan-African Film Lounge, screening a programme of films exploring Pan-African history. “It’s an interesting chapter in history in many ways,” says Mark Sealy, director of Autograph ABP. “It’s significant in terms of who was there and why they were there — Jomo …

2015-09-09T10:59:16+00:00

High Street Kensington from the series On a Good Day

Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s-1990s – Review

A young girl, speaking on the telephone, stands in a well-kept living room. She smiles to someone outside the frame, yet her posture suggests this isn’t a casual snapshot. As we learn from photographer Neil Kenlock, she’s pretending to speak to her grandparents in Jamaica — the photograph a token of the family’s prosperous new life in Britain, balancing the quotidian with the achingly intimate. This communication between generations, between the motherland and a new home, gets to the heart of Staying Power, a new exhibition currently on display at the V&A. The exhibition is the culmination of a joint project with the Black Cultural Archives, started in 2008, showcasing photographs that respond and relate to the ‘black British’ experience. With a collection spanning 118 photographs and 17 different photographers, black British life is rendered with a comprehensiveness and variety rarely seen in the cultural landscape. Marta Weiss, curator of photographs at the V&A, says: “We didn’t restrict ourselves or depict particular events or particular types of people, in keeping with the V&A’s collecting remit …

2015-07-23T12:58:23+00:00

Human Rights Human Wrongs

“I grew up in Newcastle, sat on buses with characters calling me ‘Chalky’,” says Mark Sealy, founder of Autograph ABP. “I still carry the legacy of that. I know what it’s like to be called a n*****r; I had to go through all that shit. And that’s just a simple game, the menace of little kids.” For Sealy, these experiences haven’t stopped, they have simply become subtextual. “We do it on a cultural and political level,” he says. “We create fear in others. Look at the history of the representation of Jewish people before the Holocaust; images can dehumanise us. They can make it easier to kill people.” Sealy has no qualms about recounting such memories to a journalist, describing himself as a “militant nightmare”. But if he is, he’s managed to break the mainstream anyway – born in Hackney in 1960 and raised in Newcastle, he won an MBE two years ago for services to photography and is currently in the midst of a PhD at Durham University, researching the link between photography and cultural …

2015-04-17T14:08:28+00:00

BJP Staff