Taking place from this Wednesday, June 12, all the way to September 15, Somerset House will be holding a major new exhibition titled Get Up, Stand Up Now, to celebrate 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond.
The exhibition will span art, music, photography, film, literature, design and fashion, and will feature artists such as Gaika, Jenn Nkiru and Larry Achiampong, among an approximated list of 100 interdisciplinary artists, whose work articulates and addresses the Black experience and sensibility.
The exhibition looks to connect the personal and the political, and will give artists and creatives the space to comment, through their work, on what it means to be Black today.
Going beyond the representation of Blackness as a “celebration of culture” or as a homogeneous cultural identity, the Studios programme of live music, drag, performance and DJs creates an open and refreshing space to discuss the sometimes difficult or uncomfortable issues around Black diasporic experiences in relation to social and political conditions of their making.
Among the curated events taking place, are Dreaming / Diasporas, which is a night of live performance in sound and speech, taking place on June 14, and put together by Tabitha Thorlu-Bangura, who is also known under her DJ alias as TTB. The night will feature mother-daughter duo Zakia Sewell and Amey St.Cyr, Estelle Birch, Peckham Chamber Orchestra’s founder Hannah Catherine Jones, and Kelman Duran.
London based QTIPOC led sound system Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.) will be curating three events in July, including a workshop demystifying the technical operation and maintenance of a sound system on July 17, an immersive sonic experience in the Lancaster Rooms on July 19, and a club night with B.O.S.S. family and friends taking to the decks on July 26.
On August 2, the exhibition will be lead by an evening of poetry, performances and live music exploring Black diasporic identity called Deep End, which will showcase Somerset House Studios resident Nadeem Din-Gabisi’s new multimedia project POOL. NON WORLDWIDE affiliate Farai will also be performing her album ‘Rebirth’, with Zimbabwean-born London-based writer & educator Belinda Zhawi also performing her poetry.
The series of events will be closed out on August 10 by the No Tea, No Shade club night, led by performances from Lasana Shabazz and Shakona Fire, with the Studios programme hoping to bring a broad audience face to face, listening and in dialogue with Black artists, and in doing so, chip away at the collective social amnesia fuelled by mainstream media.
These events are open for all to attend, and more information about the full programme, tickets and schedules can be found here.