Black Chronicals

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Black Chronicles IV, curated by Renée Mussai in association with VIAD

13 April - 31 May 2018

CURATOR’S NOTE: “The aim of the Black Chronicles series is to open up critical inquiry into the archive to locate new knowledge, and support our ongoing mission to continuously expand and enrich photography’s cultural histories…”

This 2018 exhibition (Curated by Renée Mussai and hosted by VIAD) achieved this aim and many more, exhibiting an extraordinary collection of photographic studio portraits showcasing a diverse range of ‘black presences’ – African, Caribbean, and South Asian – through the prism of nineteenth-century studio photography in Victorian Britain. The exhibition foregrounded the narratives of both ordinary and prominent black figures – performers, dignitaries, politicians, servicemen, and women, missionaries, students, businessmen as well as international royalty. W.E.B. Du Bois’ The Paris Albums 1900 and the sound and image-based installation, The African Choir 1891 Re-imagined, were also featured as part of this thought-provoking exhibition.

Enabling different ways of ‘seeing’ individuals often marginalized within Victorian Britain, colonial Southern Africa, and the American South, Black Chronicles IV contributes toward an ongoing process of redressing the persistent absences of black narratives within the historical record.