Black British artists and activists, Kelly Abbot and Victoria Barrow Williams, founded the People Dem Collective to organize demonstrations in support of Black Lives Matter following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis this past May. Based in the South East England town of Margate, the pair has facilitated anti-racism marches since June, which were attended by around 4,000 people.
Abbot and Williams recently connected with the Turner Contemporary gallery to host an exhibition featuring over 100 banners from the protests alongside the names of those who have been killed while in police custody in the United Kingdom. Titled “Margate to Minneapolis,” the one-room presentation also invites visitors to to kneel for eight minutes and forty-six seconds – the same amount of time that George Floyd was filmed in the US as he died while an officer knelt on his neck.
Running concurrently is the “We Will Walk” exhibition at Turner Contemporary which spans four rooms and includes 110 works featuring photos and music from the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. A third installment, “Place, Space and Who,” is also on show that comprises five large portraits of Black women and girls living in the Margate area that were drawn onto the gallery’s walls by the British artist Barbara Walker.
All three exhibitions are currently on view until September 6. The artists and the gallery hopes that the presentations will raise awareness for racial equality across the globe while sparking discussions on how British people understand both Blackness and the works of Black artists as the country faces its own history of colonialism and slavery.
Take a look at the installation views for “Margate to Minneapolis” above and then visit Turner Contemporary’s website for more details.
Elsewhere in art, The Whitney Museum is under fire for exploiting the works of Black artists.
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